Hit & Run: Your 24-Hour Source for Bleak Ironies

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The Katmai National Park in Alaska has just seen its first fatal bear attack in at least 15 years. Among the victims: Timothy Treadwell, founder of the bear advocacy group Grizzly People.

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  1. Wow, we had an escaped gorilla, a tiger eating Roy, and now a bear attack. I guess we still have the shark and the rampaging bull elephant to go this month.

  2. apparently poor Timothy did not tread well that day

  3. Oddly enough!

  4. Did anyone ever consider that the gorilla, the tiger and this bear might not have been operating independantly? That these animals could be ‘sleeper agents’ operating as part of a global Anti-human terrorist network?

    Raise the terror-alert level! This is another shocking example of an intelligence and communications failure between the FBI and the SPCA. We should elinate the gap by moving the SPCA into the Department of Homeland Security. But above all, we need identify and track all non-human residents of North America and give law-enforcement agencies the powers to record communications and interactions between these dangerous agents.

    For the children.

  5. Ha ha. This guy’s got to be a shoe-in for this years Darwin awards.

  6. Don’t forget the other tiger attack in Harlem from this week.

  7. I am not surprised at all that the founder of Grizzly People got et by a bear. After all, he engaged in high risk behavior – hanging out in grizzly country while they are in their fall feeding frenzy – without taking elementary precautions – packing serious heat.

    I note that on their website they talk about humans leaving in peace with the bear. That is all well and good, so long as the bear wants to live in peace with you. Unfortunately, grizzlies in particular often have a desire, not to live in peace with you, but to live off of the good pieces of you. Failure to recognize this reality had predictable results.

  8. This registers slightly lower on the Nelson Muntz scale than the Siegfried and Roy mauling. It would be quite a bit lower, if the guy hadn’t been a hippie. The Harlem incident is just too weird to fit on to any scale at all.

  9. I hope a newspaper headlines it “Grisly Mauling Of Grizzly Hugger.”

  10. Wow, very spiteful comments.
    I’m sure he knew what he was dealing with. I read his book, and even though his writing style sounded like an over enthusiastic 4th grader, he was likeable, knowledable, and head over heels in love with bears. He probably died the way he would’ve wanted to. What’s so wrong with that?

  11. How about “Bear Hugs Bear Hugger”

  12. The only way I would get within 50 yards of a Grizzly is with a fully loaded .308 Winchester. And I’d want a Colt Python as a back-up. Sorry, but Treadwell was asking to become an hors d’oeuvre. It was only a matter of time before the bears did what bears do.

  13. Send more enviro-geeks. The last 2 tasted great!

  14. Brad S. I guess the bear was a humanitarian.

  15. Poll question: Is this as ironic as Jim Fixx dying while out jogging?

    I once saw one of those old nature shows (Marlin Perkins maybe?) where a grizzly thought that a nearby badger would make a tasty snack.

    That bear was turning tail and running inside of five seconds.

    Moral:

    1) Twenty pounds of claws, teeth, fur, muscle and badditude — don’t mess with badgers

    2) If you go out to spend time with the bears and you don’t believe in carrying firearms, take a badger with you! (On Wisconsin!)

    BTW, I understand that relative to badgers, wolverines are REALLY nasty….

  16. I think you’re better off avoiding activities that take you within shooting range of bears, and using the firearms as the subject of long conversations.

  17. What’s a shame is that this bear love idiot conned his naiive girlfriend into joining him on his forrays into madness, all the while smiling and stating how gentle bears are no doubt. One wonders if she signed up for the eventual death by bear philosophy espoused by Tim.

    So who’s the next environaught to be made food by their ojects of affection? A killer whale hugger? Ewwww.

  18. Mark a.

    Is this actually ironic at all? If the guy had spent his life with grizzly bears, then gave it up and was killed as he arrived home by a bear that had escaped from the zoo and just happened to sneak in through his bathroom window – that would be ironic.

    This is more or less anti-irony.

    One of my favorite Homer quotes:

    “How ironic, now he’s blind – after a lifetime of enjoying sight.”

  19. It’s both ironic and predictable, and thus has much in common with the later issues of Spy magazine. Being mauled in the bathroom would have also been ironic, especially if it happened three days before retirement.

  20. “Living in peace with bears” means leaving them the hell alone.

  21. nm156:

    A .308 and a .357 backup are way too light for grizzlies. I’d want a .416 Remington or .458 Winchester with a .454 Casull as a back-up.

  22. Fred H is right on. The U.S. Forest service rates the .308 in 18th place. The 180 grains just don’t do it.

    Here’s my favorite part from the article: “Treadwell beat his addiction by spending time in the Alaskan wilderness, where he developed his fondness for bears.”

    Apparently the fondness was mutual; let’s hope the bears don’t get addicted.

  23. The Forest Service has issued a BEAR WARNING in the national forests for this summer. They’re urging everyone to protect themselves by wearing bells and carrying pepper spray.

    Campers should be alert for signs of fresh bear activity, and they should be able to tell the difference between Black Bear dung and Grizzy Bear dung.

    Black Bear dung is rather small and round. Sometimes you can see fruit seeds and/or squirrel fur in it.

    Grizzly Bear dung has bells in it, and smells like pepper spray!

  24. Anon at 8:36

    His behavior indicates that he was not really very knowledgable about bears at all, or that he didn’t care if a bear killed and ate him.

    Bottom line: anyone who thinks they can spend time within charging range of a grizzly without getting charged, especially during the fall feeding frenzy, doesn’t know much about grizzlies at all. They may know lots of interesting little facts about various bear quirks, but they are definitely missing the forest for the trees.

  25. “Expert?” I’ve read several books by animal rights experts. The graduates of the ten-hour Texas hunter education course I teach are exposed to more facts.

    They remind me of the woman I talked to during a presentation to a homeowner group. She was convinced hunters shot all the male deer every year, because in the spring she never saw a deer with “horns.” (She didn’t know male whitetails grow new antlers every fall.)

  26. More, um, fodder on Treadwell:

    “Troopers recovered video and still photography equipment as well as three hours of video footage from the site, across Shelikof Strait from Kodiak Island.

    Much of the footage is close-up shots of bears ? for which Treadwell was well-known.

    Some scenes show bears no more than a few feet from Treadwell, co-author of “Among Grizzlies: Living With Wild Bears in Alaska.” Others show a more timid Huguenard leaning away as bears come close to her on the bank of a river.”

  27. Rob at 9:51,

    I think that that was the funniest thing I have ever read on Reason. Thanks!

  28. I wouldn’t call this guy a “bear expert”. Maybe a “bear enthusiast” in the same way that I am a “car enthusiast” but have very little knowledge about cars outside of the basics of how a car operates. A few very simple bear facts would have helped this guy out. Such as:

    Bears are carnivores (that means they eat meat).
    Humans, in food form, consist of meat.
    Bears sometimes get hungry, especially during the autumn months leading up to the winter.

    If Treadwell had any logic skills, he would have been able to connect the dots from there.

  29. “First fatal bear attack in 15 years.”? I doubt it. We will never know how many of those who disappeared in the wilds wound up as bear food. I have always felt that the problem with the Grizley Adams series was that it made kids think that bears were just big fuzzy fun balls. At this scene one of the victims had been buried by a bear. If the pilot had not come back for another week or so, all traces of both of these fools would have been passed through bear stomaches, and the bear attack record would have been clean.

  30. nm156 wrote: “A .308 and a .357 backup are way too light for grizzlies. I’d want a .416 Remington or .458 Winchester with a .454 Casull as a back-up.”

    I corresponded with a bear attack survivor, who had a pretty good bear attack web page. He made the point that Alaska State Troopers studies showed that even typical handguns had enough penetration for a bears skull. The key is proper placement: people tend to shoot too high, aiming for the bears forehead–missing the brain. From the front, you want to keep your shots within the triangle defined by the bears eyes and nose. The only way to immediatly stop a bear is with a central nerviuous system hit.

    So, placement is more important than power. I’d go with a .44 mag, not the .454. Full on .454s kick too much, and the guns are too big and heavy. Of course, proper bullet selection is critical. Further, I doubt the .454 has a penetration advantage, since the higher velocity will result in more bullet deformation.

    As far as rifles, I’d be OK with a .308 or .30-06 with proper bullet selection. I’d be happier with a .338, and even more so with a .416. That’s assuming I handle the big gun well–placement is still more important. It’s not the size of the boat . . .

    Oh, and the bear attack survivor recommended a double action revolver. It would be real difficult to thumb cock a SA revolver while being shaken by a bear . . .

  31. Oh, too add, the bear attack web site mentioned above does not seem to currently exist.

  32. “Come out here; I’m being killed out here,” Treadwell said.

    “Play dead!” Huguenard yelled in reply.

    I wish I was making that up, but it’s in the newspaper.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/la-me-bear9oct09002420,1,6204122.story?coll=chi-news-hed

  33. It’s ironic from his perspective, certainly, since he only wanted to help the nice grizzlies, but I think that the obviousness of what would eventually happen from the universal perspective (mine) trumps that to all hell. If an alchoholic who does 90% of his driving while drunk wrecks his car while sober, it’s ironic. I wouldn’t call it ironic if he crashed while drunk whether he thought it would eventually happen or not.

    (Don’t go nuts Jesse, I’m just playing word games.)

  34. You went nuts even though I asked you not to… how ironic.

  35. He became one with the bear

  36. Unfortunatly this moron was responsible for more than just His and His girlfriends death……..

    A self-proclaimed eco-warrior, he attracted something of a cult following too. Chuck Bartlebaugh of “Be Bear Aware,” a national bear awareness campaign, called Treadwell one of the leaders of a group of people engaged in “a trend to promote getting close to bears to show they were not dangerous.

    All deaths are tragedies but this guy’s beliefs killed people:

    “He kept insisting that he wanted to show that bears in thick brush aren’t dangerous. The last two people killed (by bears) in Glacier National Park went off the trail into the brush. They said their goal was to find a grizzly bear so they could ‘do a Timothy.’ We have a trail of dead people and dead bears because of this trend that says, ‘Let’s show it’s not dangerous.’ ”

  37. The sad part, as I see it, is not that some moron and his gilrfreind were killed , but that two bears were killed just for doing what bears do.

  38. Would it be more or less ironic if Tim was tending bar in Malibu in winter dressed up as a bear and was eaten by a salmon?

    to me its like rain on your wedding day.
    or a free ride, but you’ve already paid!

  39. When are some people going to learn that you CANNOT take the wild out of a wild animal! That goes for Sigmond & Roy & all those other fools (dead or alive) out there!

  40. Is there a parallel here?
    Hippie pacifists think terrorists aren’t killers, we should just “live in peace” with them.
    Tim was a hippie (and probably a pacifist too) who thought that bears aren’t killers, we should just “live in peace” with them.
    Wrong on both counts! With fatal results!
    Stupid hippies.

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