Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jogger vs. Wild.

No this isn't about a Californian getting eaten by a puma or a Canadian folk singer getting killed by coyotes...

This time it's about an Alaskan getting eaten by wolves.
Colleagues said Candice Berner was determined to experience Alaska
Well, sounds like she experienced it, alright; all up close and personal-like.

What I want to know is how come the same person who would never walk alone through a dark alley in New York City will go and "experience" the wilderness by themselves without so much as a dull butter knife to their name. I've got news for you, hippie: If you live in the backwoods of Alaska, once you step out your front door, you are no longer the top link on the food chain.

The money quote on the whole "X-Games Culture meets Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" phenomenon comes from Chas Clifton:
No one goes to the gym expecting to be eaten.
Nature is not "red in tooth and claw" because of the Nerf padding.

63 comments:

OA said...

"What I want to know is how come the same person who would never walk alone through a dark alley in New York City will go and "experience" the wilderness by themselves without so much as a dull butter knife to their name."

It's the "If I can survive in the city, I can survive anywhere" attitude that comes with the smug sense of superiority that can only be generated by someone that will pay $13.50 for an indifferently made chicken salad sandwich without blinking. And remember, cussing yourself into an embolism when you walk into someone makes you far tougher than the average rural peckerwood.

JimB said...

You have to love some of these stories. Darwinism at its best.

Anonymous said...

Actually I think humans are the top of the food chain, and that's what needs to be remembered. Don't go unarmed in an area where other predators might kill you. Be prepared to kill them (if necessary) instead.

Mark

Tam said...

"Actually I think humans are the top of the food chain..."

Not when they're armed with nought but jogging shoes and a fuzzy-headed love for all God's creatures, they aren't.

Then again, as I've said elsewhere, the concept of that is so foreign to me that I'm not entirely certain that speciation isn't already underway.

Anonymous said...

Wolves in Alaska, bears in New Mexico and Montana, mountain lions in New Mexico and Colorado (and California), humans in the larger urban areas, not much difference, although I'd rather take my chances with the four-footed predators. They just want to eat you.

LittleRed1

Paul said...

We are the top when we have tools. Our fangs are at best dull tools.

I like the one about the country singer living montana that decided to visit some friends in Idaho. He opted for the short route that goes over a high pass in the bitter root range. He got stuck in his Caddilac STS trying to turn around. fours days later, after writing his last will and testament, he was found by some locals checking the pass in a generic 4x4.

Personally, had I found him I might have just left him. Didn't even have food for his journey.

There are large parts of the US where your cell won't work and a QT is not around the corner.

Be prepared.

Joanna said...

We are the top when we have tools. Our fangs are at best dull tools.

If you have them. My eye teeth are completely flat. No points at all.

My sister, on the other hand, looks like a Twilight extra. So YMMV.

og said...

Even if I had fangs like a baboon, I'd rather have a gun. (we used to, apparently. Run your finger up over your upper gumline-no reason for roots that deep unless they once supported huge teeth!) And the bigger the gun the better! I was never meant to run fast, so firearms and the ability to build strong shelters are what I have.

Boat Guy said...

As Jim mentioned, natural selection at work...we can still count on some things to remain "true"...
Happy to remain a "tool maker/user" in the scheme of things.

MrWolf. said...

Use it or lose it. My dentist is chinese/aussie. She says chinese have very shallow roots, due to thousands of years of eating rice. Europeans have somewhat deeper roots. The only patients who provide something of a challenge are kooris, with the deepest, strongest roots she has ever seen.

I've always followed my dear old Grandad's two wise sayings:-

Always kick a man when he is down. If you let him get up, he may kill you.

And, particularly appropriate:-

My strength is as the strength of ten, because I have a Morris starting handle under my jacket.

You would have liked my old grandfather.

Best wishes.

Stranger said...

Old men have long ears, both literally and figuratively. I am hearing of a lot more confrontations between predators and humans. Most end without anything more serious than a fright - but at one time the fright was all on the predators side. That does not seem to be the case any more.

I credit the "endangered species" acts.

Stranger

Jay G said...

Hell, I won't go to the damned ZOO without my model 13 stoked with Remington 147 grain soft points...

The concept of going out of doors in an area where there are predators more than twice my size without a sidearm of some sort is as foreign to me as the menu at Starbucks...

Anonymous said...

I have had the chance to see wolves, grizzly bears and a mountain lion in the wild. They were all memorable experiances which I enjoyed. They were enjoyable because I had a 30-06 or .357 with me and I was not worried my safety.

I think some of these folks have a deity complex. They think their god like inner beauty will protect them from critters. They just end up as steaming scat piles.

Gerry

BobG said...

Like I've always said, have respect for Mother Nature, because she has none for you.

Rev. Paul said...

The comments are pretty accurate; there are 600 lb brown bears - and quite a few grizzlies - in our Anchorage city parks. It gets less friendly outside the muni limits. The question isn't "are you carrying?" but "did you bring enough gun?"

Mike said...

I understand many of these folk are actually training for the big "Being Eaten By a Crocodile Event" in Paris this year.

http://www.skepticfiles.org/en001/croc.htm

A little fish sauce behind the ears, and you are good to go.

Jason said...

In Illinois we're getting more feral pigs due to breeding and migration and apparently black bears have also been spotted crossing the river into western Illinois. The coyotes are breeding with feral dogs and getting both bigger and meaner and the whitetail deer have lost almost all sense of fear of humans. And then there's the flying crap factories that everyone else calls canada geese.

How do we turn this into an army capable of clearing out Chicago's entrenched political machinery?

dave said...

With frickin' laser beams, of course!

On a Wing and a Whim said...

"Villagers know there are more than two wolves in the pack and that the caribou and moose they eat are still scarce, Aleck said. Kids continue to be escorted to school, and armed local hunters are still patrolling town watching for wolves."

...we won't know for a bit yet if the two that were spotted & shot that match up with the bite marks were rabid, but rabies has been a problem there before. Wolves usually don't attack humans, but all bets are off when rabies hits the brain.

I use an MP3 player to ignore the environment in the gym, sure, but I do not want to ignore the environment outside. It's not the bears or wolves I worry about - it's the irritated mama moose, or down here in the lower 48, the snake sunning himself on the trail.

Countertop said...

once you step out your front door, you are no longer the top link on the food chain.

Heck, in Alaska, your not even within the top 5 (wolves, black bears, grizzlies, polar bears, moose).

mariner said...

I think we should fund ads in New York City promoting Alaskan nature vacations.

perlhaqr said...

mariner++

Market them towards politicians in particular.

Anonymous said...

"No one goes to the gym expecting to be eaten."

But then again, she wasn't IN A GYM (duh!)

And we are now seeing the Law of Unintended Consequences at work in regards to the EnviroNazi Hippies and their protection of All Things Not Human. Where it used to be feared that humans would invade the animals territory, we see that the animals now are invading people territory.

The animals don't care that the Libtards have worked so hard to pass laws to safeguard all creatures with fur, fins & feathers. To the animals, if you want to get close enough in an attempt to get within touching distance (after all I've done for you, let's be friends), you're close enough so that the animal can EAT YOU with a lot less work than if the critter had to chase you. Score one for the critter!

So come on, all you EnviroNazi hippies, come do your part to feed the animals. Lord knows we sensible conservative types won't miss you or mourn your passing int othe Belly of the Beast.

B Woodman
III-per

Atom Smasher said...

What stands out for me is the article itself. Leave it to the Beeb to put "killed" in quotes int he title and "suspected" in the sidebar.

They'd probably pay good money to be killed by wolves.

Ed Foster said...

"...the concept of that is so foreign to me that I'm not entirely certain that speciation isn't already underway".

Please God, let it be so.

As for non-rabid wolves not attacking people, essentially true here in North America, although not always so, according to Amerind legend.

But for the last several centuries, the people most likely to encounter wolves here were carrying guns, axes, or chainsaws, and wolves aren't stupid.

Now the wolves have seen decades of hippie hikers, armed with pure thoughts and smiles, and the rules are changing. I may have mentioned an incident that happened to relatives of a friend of mine in St. Prosper Quebec recently.

Two of my buddy Normand's cousins were out deer hunting and were driven out of the woods by a pack of wolves that not only circled them, but were drawing closer.

They didn't know if taking a shot would scare the pack away or make it more determined, so they went back to back and made it to the truck moments ahead of the competition.

The wolves circled the truck until it left.

St. Prosper is on the south side of the St. Lawrence, only 35 miles north of Jackman Maine. They're here in New England now, and it's only a matter of time.

These weren't eastern coyotes or coydogs. Both of these guys had lumberjacked up in the far north and knew timberwolves when they saw them.

Russia used to have 300 wolf attacks a year, before committing to exterminating wolves outside of zoos. Now they still have about 100per year, with the rest of Europe having perhaps another 90 to 100.

Did you ever see that hand shot film taken from the rear cockpit of the Russian biplane in the late 1920's, with the wolves hammering in the doors of the little cottages?

The pilot and his observer fired their revolvers dry, then kept making suicidal dives at the wolves, trying to drive them back. The wolves realized the plane was only noise, then went ahead and ate the village.

It had been "pacified" during the revolution, and was disarmed except for the local licensed hunter, who was away chasing wolves.

JohnW said...

If nothing else I hope this ends once and for all the fat duck that "there have been no reported attacks by wolves on humans." None that were survived to be reported, is more like it.
Walt Disney has much to answer for.

Lergnom said...

Pennsylvania has timber wolves, as well as timber rattlers and bears and something like pumas. Sometimes they show up within city limits.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Tam: Thanks for the link.

JohnW: Thanks for the pun.

Windy Wilson said...

Then again, as I've said elsewhere, the concept of that is so foreign to me that I'm not entirely certain that speciation isn't already underway.

OMG! The Morlocks and Eloi from Well's "The Time Machine".

Windy Wilson said...

Oh, and Ed Foster, I have to look further, but a cursory search in Youtube shows only videos of how wonderful wolves are, including a Frenchwoman who "turned her back on civilization to care for some wolves in Russia."
I will search further, because that's an interesting story considering that mountain lion attacks in California have skyrocketed since they became protected animals, losing their supposed innate solitary nature and fear of humans.

Stuart the Viking said...

BobG: "Like I've always said, have respect for Mother Nature, because she has none for you."

I disagree. Mother nature has great respect for all her children. Mother nature respects that if you walk in the wilds where her children of the fang and claw live, you will be intelligent enough to bring along means to protect yourself. I wish the government had that much respect for it's people.

Countertop: "Heck, in Alaska, your not even within the top 5 (wolves, black bears, grizzlies, polar bears, moose)."

Damn... I sure would hate to be eaten by a moose... wait... does my ex-wife count?

s

Frank W. James said...

Just goes to show....YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID!...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

monkeyfan said...

I don't have anything to add but the verification word was just to appropriate.

WC - culexe

Darwin's executable program.

Anonymous said...

Some of the coverage has 'suggestions' from fish and wildlife that includes things like "throwing rocks."

Only if those 'rocks' are coming out of the barrel of a rifle or handgun or shotgun.

Matthew said...

To be fair to this lady, she wasn't a complete ninny. The Daily Worker published excerpts from her diary that show she did in fact take wildlife threats up here seriously. She only went running outside of the village because the bears were still denned up. She had learned how to shoot from the locals and carried bear spray / made wise wildlife choices everywhere she went in the summers.

Her failure was simply in not considering wolves a threat, (so Patricia Feral and "Friends of Wolves" have blood on their hands). Had she done so the evidence of her own words shows she would not have taken the same actions nor made the same mistakes.

So, misguided/misinformed/inexperienced? Yes. But not an "Eloi" or total moron.

WV: alikadde - Eisenhower's first Presidential election slogan, later shortened to fit on buttons

OA said...

"I disagree. Mother nature has great respect for all her children. Mother nature respects that if you walk in the wilds where her children of the fang and claw live, you will be intelligent enough to bring along means to protect yourself. I wish the government had that much respect for it's people."

Quit anthropomorphizing dirt. There is no "Mother Nature", just like there's no bitch named "Life" that's out to get everyone. And carry a damn gun. There's crazy people out there that think the earth is alive and unseen forces are out to get them. Plus wolves. Hungry, hungry wolves.

Matthew said...

Figured I'd better cite.

You can see her evolution from being "city" to becoming aware of reality here. She was actively learning and improving herself.

Considering she had a better chance of being struck by lightning than being killed and eaten by wolves I don't think she should be berated or held up as an example of people who are truly stupid about the wild.



http://community.adn.com/adn/node/150677

Wai said...

Anyone want to bet she had earbuds in her ear and listening to music, which probably cut off her effective situational awareness factor by 70%??

Did it MY way said...

Bad, Bad Bad Doggie....I mean wolf.

See Ya.

lmassie said...

I don't think much of the "stupid hippie chick, me tough as nails with gun comments".
This woman went to Alaska to teach. Probably as competent as any other. No evidence she's anything other than unlucky.
How many of you jog with a gun? Not me. Think these wolves just hung around a little till they attacked? Most likely they hit her without warning and didn't stop. They'd get you that way even if you were armed. Some experiences are a lot harder than you can even imagine, much less cope with.
Like the blog, but based on the comments, but most of your readers would cry like a girl if confronted by a real threat.

og said...

LOL! I have followed cape buffalo into the brush and swamp, and stalked a wounded kudu with 57" horns. Other commenters here have faced bears, feral hogs, and armed opponents. I don't think much of you, Imassie, because you're an idiot. I hope you go to Alaska to "teach" soon, as well. Darwin needs all the examples he can get.

Speciation indeed.

RC said...

Anyone with two brain cells to rub together should have figured that wolves can be dangerous. Look at Canis lupus familiaris, the domesticated form of the wolf. When they go feral, they will start to run in packs, and despite their long lineage of domestication they will attack humans. Why should wolves, who have not been domesticated, act any differently, or less aggressively?

The only reason there hasn't been more attacks is likely due to lack of opportunity rather than intent. I figure a pack of wolves will see a jogger as an easy treat, unless they are dissuaded of that fact.

As for packing while jogging...if you're in a place where there are numerous critters that see you as a meat popsicle, you either figure out how to carry a gun or you figure out some other way to get your exercise. Darwin is a mean son-of-a-bitch, and he won't be denied.

Anonymous said...

Imassie; I always carry a pistol at the least, when walking jogging, riding a bike, or shopping at the mall.

I will grant your point that a surprise attack might possibly defeat even an armed person. Wolves are intelligent predators. Still, having the tools of defense gives one a fighting chance even in that case. Usually though it's the kitty cats (puma) that jump you before you know they're there.

It is a fact that the "stupid hippies" have gotten the laws changed to the point where wolves are spreading rapidly. Here in Idaho there was a wolf hunt this season, and I don't remember the number, but there were a LOT of wolves taken. The hippies bitched like mad about it too. The "if it could save just one life" crap they so often spew seems to be applied very selectively.

You seem to be one of those people fooled by the "gun owners act macho, but they all have small penises" stereotype perpetuated by the uber left. That's just bigotry. -- Lyle

Anonymous said...

"...most of your readers would cry like a girl if confronted by a real threat."

Based on what I know of the girls around these parts, it'd be an Apache War Cry, and the wolves, whether of the four or two legged variety, would likely not know what hit them.

AT

OA said...

lmassie said...
Probably as competent as any other.


I'm sure that wasn't meant to be a backhanded compliment, but...


"How many of you jog with a gun?"


I don't jog. In fact, I try to avoid anything that makes me euphoric when it's finally over.


RC said...
The only reason there hasn't been more attacks is likely due to lack of opportunity rather than intent.


And the fact that they prefer moose meat. But hey, don't let me stop you from thinking the wolves are plotting your demise. Never mind the fact that she was running and triggered a prey response, to the pitchforks!

Seriously, you do know not to run away from a strange dog, right?


"Darwin is a mean son-of-a-bitch, and he won't be denied."


Talk to twenty random strangers about geopolitics and then come tell me how your statement could possibly be true.

Fenris said...

I've worked with wild wolves in Wisconsin. They're very shy. This was even while they were still listed as endangered.
I'm somewhat surprised by the wolf attack. I find myself wondering if someone in the area might have been feeding or otherwise eroding any sense of fear the wolves originally had.
On the other hand, since she was jogging she could have just done the wrong thing at the wrong time. If she happened to surprise the pack somehow and then attempted to run away from their threat display...

All conjecture aside, nasty business that.

Darrell said...

Read the book Beast In The Garden, about mountain lions in and around Boulder, CO. The hippies loved the mountain lions, at least until they started eating pets, then people.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Darrell,

Beast in the Garden is a fine book, but your summary goes only half way.

When there were lion attacks on dogs, etc. (and the death of high school runner Scott Lancaster), the Colorado Division of Wildlife was ready to eradicate some lions.

But the Boulder County response was, "No, leave them alone. We accept the risks."

So the CDOW backed down, and that has been the status quo ever since.

Lewis said...

Wait, wolves are dangerous? Why, I had no idea! Wolves are cool. Wolves are Mother Nature's handmaidens----or the vicious pack predators that manifest the unmanifestable intent of brute "that's how it goes, sometimes" fate, if you don't believe in Mother Nature.

One of the coolest things, one of the mightiest things ever, that we did as a species, was turning the wolf into the dog.

We took an apex predator and turned it into something useful to us, something companionable, something helpful, something wonderful.

Let dogs alone for a while and look at what you get: they go back to the purity, they go back to what Mother Nature or the ruthless hand of evolution wants them to be

And, of course, there are those that we never turned into dogs.

You wonder why every culture that has ever been exposed to wolves has a healthy, dreadful fear of them? Ha ha. You wonder why we're scared of werewolves? You wonder why we fear the dark? You wonder why that howl hits you, right there in the tingly spot?

You wonder why?

Because a pack of wolves will go through you like nobody's business, will turn your "top of the food chain" smack into wolf scat smack. Because a pack of wolves think God or Mother Nature ain't made the thing they can't chew up and spit out, because a pack of wolves is like the best takedown team ever out of Langley, only low to the ground and faster and oh my God look at all those teeth.

When the Roman dude said that man is the wolf to man, he was paying us a compliment.

The wolf abides----not like the Dude abides, no, not like that at all, but the wolf abides.

Anonymous said...

Obligatory:
What gun for wolves?

RC said...

And the fact that they prefer moose meat. But hey, don't let me stop you from thinking the wolves are plotting your demise. Never mind the fact that she was running and triggered a prey response, to the pitchforks!

They may prefer moose meat (or elk, or deer), but if they're hungry, they'd rather have something rather than nothing, just like anything else.

I don't think they're plotting anyone's demise, but that doesn't alter the fact that they can be and are dangerous.

Seriously, you do know not to run away from a strange dog, right?

If you're jogging, you're already running, and may not notice any animal, stray or wild, before it's already decided to eat you. At that point you can fight or try to run faster than they can.

If you notice the animals before they notice you, you can take precautions, simple enough. Trick is noticing them first.

I'm not advocating killing them off. What I am advocating them is recognizing them for what they are: intelligent and opportunistic predators, that need to be treated with caution, rather than summarily dismissed as "not a threat."

Justthisguy said...

"what gun for wolves?" Why, the biggest one you can easily carry, with the biggest magazine.

RevolverRob said...

I will just never get it...Why people think street smarts translates into wild smarts or the reverse of it either.

Remember folks.

Gun, Knife, Flashlight. The three things you should have everywhere.

-Rob

WV: wilthou; wilthou please think of the childrens?!

Will said...

What, you don't pack when jogging? I've got a choice of fanny pack, belly band, and shoulder rig. Got coyotes the size of German Shepards, that hunt across the road from me. Hell, I've seen them in the front yard. Might even be a mountain lion on those hills. Wouldn't surprise me.

Tam said...

Imassie,

"How many of you jog with a gun?"

Well, I don't jog, but I do ride a bike with a gun. Although that's not the correct question: The correct question is "How many of you jog alone and unarmed down dark alleys when you don't have to?"

"Dark alleys" here being used entirely metaphorically, of course.

Tarb said...

Hi Tam, I'm coming in way late with this one, but: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/6956494/roo-knocks-out-jogger/
It's not only animals that want to eat you that are a problem! Once a 'roo has gotten used to people, they'll kick the crap out of you on a whim.

Tam said...

That's an unusual one, alright. :o

Marja said...

I remember reading a story about bushmen and lions. No idea if that is a true story, but it goes something like this: an area got turned into a nature preserve and the bushmen, who had always lived there were forcibly removed. Several years later a white person visited the area with an older bushman, and they saw a pride of lions. The bushman said that the lions were far more dangerous now than they had been before, because they had forgotten that humans are too dangerous to hunt. While his people had still lived there they had mostly avoided humans, because then the older lions had taught the young ones to stay away from humans, and the ones which hadn't learned had gotten either hurt or dead, but now there had been a generation or two which hadn't learned that lesson, so now they saw humans only as potential prey.

Stuart the Viking said...

OA: "Quit anthropomorphizing dirt. There is no "Mother Nature", just like there's no bitch named "Life" that's out to get everyone. And carry a damn gun. There's crazy people out there that think the earth is alive and unseen forces are out to get them. Plus wolves. Hungry, hungry wolves."

HAH! Good... Good... Would you also be saying that there is no God? Because for a lot of people, Mother Nature as the earth is the physical manifestation of the goddess. Or are you one of those people who denegrates the religions of others as rediculous without taking a look in the mirror at your own? Of course this doesn't apply to you if you are an athiest. Athiests are free to make fun of everyones religions.
Oh... and yes, I DO carry a gun. Even though the only wolves in my area are the two legged variety.

As for all of you people who are defending the dead jogger girl as not being so stupid. If she, as reported, didn't see wolves as being a threat, she was at least willfully ignorant. She was teaching at a school where the children were escorted to and from school by armed adults BECAUSE OF THE WOLF PROBLEM in the area. The town also had hunters patrolling on snowmobiles looking for wolves. If that doesn't give you the indication that wolves are dangerous then go right ahead and jog unarmed. Darwin is getting old and could use the help.

s

Anonymous said...

"Actually I think humans are the top of the food chain..."

Not when they're armed with nought but jogging shoes and a fuzzy-headed love for all God's creatures, they aren't.


I'm thinking you and I are kinda making the same point...

Mark

OA said...

"HAH! Good... Good... Would you also be saying that there is no God? Because for a lot of people, Mother Nature as the earth is the physical manifestation of the goddess. Or are you one of those people who denegrates the religions of others as rediculous without taking a look in the mirror at your own? Of course this doesn't apply to you if you are an athiest. Athiests are free to make fun of everyones religions."

Oh piss off, tender ass.

Firehand said...

Not long ago Animal Planet had a show on lions that turned out to be a lot more realistic than most. The host was out in an area of southern Africa where people-muching is a real problem.

One of the things he went over was that people trying to get from one hellhole to South Africa(slightly better hellhole) had to go through a wildlife refuge in a third country to get there, and the lions in the refuge were taking this as a walking buffet; nobody hunted the lions, the refugees are all unarmed, so... I can't remember the numbers, but between them the prides in the region were eating a LOT of people over time.

mariner said...

OA:
"I don't jog. In fact, I try to avoid anything that makes me euphoric when it's finally over."

ANYTHING?

(Couldn't resist.)