12 May 2008

The Beast Gets His Bite Back

I was at my Rotary Club meeting last week and our speaker was Dr. Don Goodman, the director of Gainesville's Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. Several years ago he lost his right arm to MoJo, a massive American alligator that made its home there. As is the practice when an alligator attacks a human, MoJo was killed, not only as a protective measure but also to see if Dr. Goodman's arm was salvageable. Unfortunately it was not.

Now that several years have passed Dr. Goodman has come to the conclusion that MoJo's behavior is part of a trend that began when animals like the alligator fell under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Alligators had learned to fear humans because an encounter with a human meant a very real chance of death. After years of protection, alligators don't really have to fear humans for their survival. They know most of us are unarmed and more aggressive behavior seems one likely by-product of that, even as endangered status no longer applies.

A few days later I saw this post at Instapundit. Glen Reynolds highlighted some cases of coyotes acting more aggressive in L.A. suburbs and elsewhere. This seems to be supportive anecdotal evidence of what I learned last week.

Just something interesting to think about.

1 comment:

Justin, Kira and Evan said...

So the moral of the story is to get a gun and start killing some wildlife to make them fear us again. Sweet