The Chicago Tribune reported today that Cinnamon Bear, an 11 year old wolf at the Brookfield Zoo, was shot yesterday when a woman climbed into his enclosure to try to pet him. It’s a terrible shame that such a noble animal as a wolf should have to die prematurely because some fool of a human put herself in a precarious position. Next time, let’s shoot the woman and leave the wolf alone.
Anyone who has studied wolves can sympathize that, in this story, it is crystal clear which was the smarter mammal! The Brookfield Zoo is a fantastic place, with well-designed and kept enclosures for its animals. Even though Cinnamon Bear was not going to be enjoying it, the wolves were getting a newly redesigned habitat.
This woman – unnamed, probably because she deserves far more vilification than someone like Steve Bartman, the Cubs fan – ignored the basic function of a fence and climbed in to cuddle, one supposes, a wild animal. When he grabbed her arm and started pulling, she cried out as if she was the one who was in the right and she’d somehow been “attacked” – not that she’d jumped in and as much as goaded this response. If survival of the fittest could only have been applied here, and allowed the guard to shoot the stupid human and let Cinnamon Bear eat the clearly diseased carcass of a person who hasn’t the common sense not to jump into the lion’s den.
The Trib’ had a very interesting article on the resurgence of wolves in Wisconsin which, in contrast with the killing of Cinnamon Bear, at least reminds one that wolves are making a comeback from their endangered status and, one hopes, the overpopulation may allow zoos like Brookfield to continue their work on this fascinating predator.
Anyone interested in wolves should consider visiting the Wolf Education and Research Center or the Defenders of Wildlife. Peter Steinhart’s book, The Company of Wolves, is an enjoyable introduction to the personalities and history of the protection of the wolf in the U.S.