View previous topic | View next topic

Bears!

Page 1 of 1

Ian Dunn
384299.  Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:39 am Reply with quote

The fear of bears is "Arctophobia". Probably the most famous arctophobe is the American satirist Stephen Colbert, who rather ironically pronounces his surname "Col-Bear". He suffered from the phobia it as a child, but no longer does.

In his TV show The Colbert Report, where plays a right-wing political pundit called "Stephen Colbert", one of his recurring characteristics is that his character is arctophobic. He often claims that bears are, "The number one threat to America," and that they are, "Godless killing machines without a soul".

It is true to say that bears can be deadly. Just recently, a pack of at least 30 Kamchatka brown bears in the Kamchatka region of Russia killed and ate two guards of a mining compound. Many employees are so frightened that they will not return to work until the bears have been killed. A team of snipers has been called in to deal with the animals.

The Kamchatka brown bear (Ursus arctos beringianus) is one of the largest bears in the world. The males grown up to three metres (10ft), weigh up to 700kg (1,540lb) and can run up to 30mph (48km/h). However, they are generally peaceful animals that feed on salmon. It is believed by environmentalists that the bears have turned violent because of human poachers. Currently, three people have been killed by bears in Russia this year.

Other bear releated deaths include:

Quote:
A 14 year-old girl riding in a 24-hour mountain bike race in Alaska was attacked by a grizzly bear in the middle of the night last month. She suffered head, neck, torso and leg wounds.

At least seven people were injured by a wild bear in Nuapada district, India, this month.

A drunk man was killed trying to photograph two brown bears at a zoo in Ukraine, also this month.

On July 17, a bear entered a tent and bit a camper in Montana, leading the US Forest Service to evacuate two campgrounds.

A day later a runner was bitten up to eight times by a black bear near Lake Louise in Canada.

Yesterday [23 July] a woman was attacked and severely injured by a bear in southern California while walking her dogs. One of the dogs was also injured.


Story from The Times
Wikipedia article on The Colbert Report
Wikipedia article on the Kamchatka brown bear

 
suze
384385.  Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:51 am Reply with quote

Ian Dunn wrote:
The fear of bears is "Arctophobia". Probably the most famous arctophobe is the American satirist Stephen Colbert, who rather ironically pronounces his surname "Col-Bear". He suffered from the phobia it as a child, but no longer does.


That's a bit of an affectation actually. Mr Colbert is not of French descent, his family roots are actually in Ireland - and his late father pronounced the surname "KOL-burt" (ˈkolbərt), as did Stephen until he went to university.


But yes, bears are scarey - I've never really understood just why it is that bear shaped soft toys are so much more popular than, say, elephant shaped soft toys.

They don't actually attack humans very often, and indeed are in general scared of us. But in some parts of North America bears will venture into town in search of food, and unfortunately when that happens it's usual to shoot them. In Churchill MB, there's a special bear jail where the animals are kept until the ice on Hudson Bay reforms - they are then placed into giant nets attached under an airplane and deposited a safe distance from town.

 
Ian Dunn
384393.  Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:07 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
In Churchill MB, there's a special bear jail where the animals are kept until the ice on Hudson Bay reforms - they are then placed into giant nets attached under an airplane and deposited a safe distance from town.


Yes, it is mentioned in the deleted scenes in the Series B DVD. Alan also mentions that Churchill is the coldest town in Canada.

 
Tas
384397.  Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:12 am Reply with quote

I think that being frightening of a massive omnivore with claws like knives and teeth to match, one that is capable of ripping you to shreds in a few seconds, is quite logical.

I thought phobias were supposed to be unreasoning fears?

:-)

Tas

 
Ian Dunn
384400.  Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:18 am Reply with quote

My guess is that being frightened of being attacked by a bear is rational, but being frightened by a picture of bear is irrational because the picture cannot harm you.

 
Sadurian Mike
384548.  Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:34 pm Reply with quote

Some (very gruesome) pictures of the results of bear attacks. I'd say being fearful of something that will do this to you is entirely rational!

Grizzly bear attack on campers. Warning - this is nasty.
Results of a polar bear attack.
Alaskan bear attack.

Here's Wiki's list of North American fatal bear attacks.

 
Ian Dunn
384554.  Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:42 pm Reply with quote

Oh God, I should have looked at those pics after I just had a sandwich. I felt a bit sick looking at them.

 
Sadurian Mike
384566.  Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:06 pm Reply with quote

They are rather strong, I'm afraid. It would certainly make me think twice before mucking about in bear territory.

 
Ian Dunn
384835.  Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:09 am Reply with quote

Speaking of bear attacks, there is a story on The Sydney Morning Herald of a woman who survived an attack by a grizzly bear - in the head!

Anyway, I think it is time that we bring in the views of Pliny the Elder. This is something quite interesting that he said about bears.

Natural History, Book 8, Chapter XXXVI wrote:
In Spaine it is held for certaine, that in their braine there is a venimous qualitie; and if it be taken in drinke, driveth men into a kind of madnesse, so as they will rage as if they were beares: in token whereof whensoever any of them be killed with baiting, they make sure worke and burn their heads all whole. When they list, they will go on their two hinder feet upright: they creepe downe from trees backward: when they fight with bulls, their manner is to hang with all their foure feet, about their head and hornes, and so with the very weight of their bodies wearie them. There is not a living creature more craftie and foolish withall, when it doth a shrewd turne. We find it recorded in the Annals of the Romanes, that when M. Piso and M. Me▀ala were consuls, Domitius Ănobarbus an Ădile Curule, upon the 14 day before the Calends of October, exhibited 100 Numidian beares to be baited and chased in the great Cirque, and as many Ăthiopian hunters. And I marveile much, that the chronicle nameth Numidian, since it is certein, that no bears come out of Africk.


The whole book, including the entire bear chapter

 

Page 1 of 1

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group