JREF Homepage Swift Blog Events Calendar $1 Million Paranormal Challenge The Amaz!ng Meeting Useful Links Support Us
James Randi Educational Foundation JREF Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   JREF Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
Click Here To Donate

Notices


Welcome to the JREF Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.

Reply
Old 4th January 2013, 08:33 AM   #81
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 13,320
Originally Posted by Polaris
...and counts attacks on pets or mere encounters as attacks, even if the cougar is scared off by people who know the correct way to deal with a cougar.'
By that logic I've been attacked by mountain lions at least twice--once with the stalking thing, and once when I surprised a mountain lion that had just killed a deer. Neither time was I in any particular danger. The stalking incident was over before I knew it had happened, and the deer incident I went to great pains (ie, adding an additional mile and a half over rugged terrain) to avoid the mountain lion. (Not really out of fear, either; it was more a respect thing. It hadn't bothered me, so there was no reason for me to interupt its dinner.) I've also been attacked by a dog--and I mean full-on attacked, it tried to rip my throat out. I had to fight for my life, in the most literal sense of the words. There's simply no comparison; the behaviors are completely different, and to equate them is sloppy at best and dishonest at worst.

Quote:
I'll admit my bias here as well. I think steps should be taken to protect people within reason, but I see the occasional attack as the cost of doing business.
Pretty much my take on it. If you go into the wilderness you are obligated to play by its rules--which means that on occasion you'll be prey. Everything in the wild survives because it either hides from predators or beats them off. Those are your options as well. If you're not willing to defend yourself, stay inside. And the wilderness extends much further than most people think.
__________________
GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 08:46 AM   #82
quarky
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 20,448
A good friend of mine worked for the National Park Service, and one of his jobs was to crawl into bear dens (in winter) and tag them. He also had to climb high into trees to check on Bald eagle nests.
I asked him what he thought the most dangerous animal in his job was. Without hesitation, he said "feral hogs".
Yet, I've heard no reports of hog attacks. But I know they are dangerous; fast, aggressive, and will eat anything.
quarky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 08:52 AM   #83
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 13,320
You've never lived in the South. Hog attacks aren't terribly uncommon in some of those areas. Of course, the South being the South they have the perfect solution for it: wild hog bacon. Just don't pet the pit bull of any hog hunter. Trust me on that one.
__________________
GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 08:53 AM   #84
Polaris
Philosopher
 
Polaris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,367
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
By that logic I've been attacked by mountain lions at least twice--once with the stalking thing, and once when I surprised a mountain lion that had just killed a deer. Neither time was I in any particular danger. The stalking incident was over before I knew it had happened, and the deer incident I went to great pains (ie, adding an additional mile and a half over rugged terrain) to avoid the mountain lion. (Not really out of fear, either; it was more a respect thing. It hadn't bothered me, so there was no reason for me to interupt its dinner.) I've also been attacked by a dog--and I mean full-on attacked, it tried to rip my throat out. I had to fight for my life, in the most literal sense of the words. There's simply no comparison; the behaviors are completely different, and to equate them is sloppy at best and dishonest at worst.
I agree. I dislike the viewpoint of that site's author(s) and it should be taken with a grain of salt. For instance, from the homepage:

Quote:
Whether you believe the risk from predators is miniscule or is an increasing one to be watched, keep in mind that, however statistically unlikely, risk of injury or death from such as bee stings, spider bites, lightening strikes, and lion attacks are still additive. When you welcome the sight of a magnificent predator into your neighborhood, realize that the risk is far greater for children than for the adults making policies.
While that is technically correct, I can't help but catch a whiff of "think of the children!" This may be a result of an attack on a child near the home of one of the authors. Understandable, but useless.

I get the feeling if I discussed this with the author(s) I would be asked, "what if it was you?" or, "what if it was your child?" My answer would be, "then it would be me or my child." It'd be on me that an attack happened by way of me or my child being there. It's not the cat's fault, it's what they do. Just like it wouldn't be the car's fault if I or my child died in an auto accident.

For the record, I like my cougar encounters to be with a chain link fence between me and them. They get a little pet and scratch behind the ears, they purr, and I go home in one piece. The only pucker moment I had like yours involved a barred owl in my back yard in the process of killing a crow. (I heard screaming from the woods behind my house, so I went to investigate. A loaded riot gun does wonders for confidence.)

Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Pretty much my take on it. If you go into the wilderness you are obligated to play by its rules--which means that on occasion you'll be prey. Everything in the wild survives because it either hides from predators or beats them off. Those are your options as well. If you're not willing to defend yourself, stay inside. And the wilderness extends much further than most people think.
Exactly. Unless the animal breaks through my window, I'm in its home. I love big cats. Love them. But if I'm attacked I will defend myself, even if it means killing one. I think we've lost touch with the fact that we're still part of the natural world, like it or not, and it's a rude awakening to realize your not at the top of the food chain.

The link does have some very good tips on avoiding cougar attacks, to be fair.
__________________
"There's vastly more truth to be found in rocks than in holy books. Rocks are far superior, in fact, because you can DEMONSTRATE the truth found in rocks. Plus, they're pretty. Holy books are just heavy." - Dinwar

"Let your ears hear this beautiful song that's hiding underneath the sound," Ed Kowalczyk.
Polaris is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 09:02 AM   #85
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 13,320
Originally Posted by Polaris
While that is technically correct, I can't help but catch a whiff of "think of the children!" This may be a result of an attack on a child near the home of one of the authors. Understandable, but useless.
Agreed. It's a bit too close to asking us to dismiss the data for my taste, and an emotional appeal to boot.

Quote:
For the record, I like my cougar encounters to be with a chain link fence between me and them.
After seeing a mountain lion jump to a ledge to get a closer look at my dog in a zoo (he's a therapy dog; it's part of his training), I'm not sure I like even that. Those things only remained in the cage because they wanted to remain there--none of us watching had any doubt that the cats could break out without exerting much effort.

Oddly enough, the leopard geuninely wanted to play with my dog. Apparently that zoo had a show where leopards and dogs played together, so the cat thougth "Oh, it's time to have fun! I LIKE this!" The zookeeper got a kick out of it.

Quote:
I think we've lost touch with the fact that we're still part of the natural world, like it or not, and it's a rude awakening to realize your not at the top of the food chain.
Pretty much, yeah. That's one reason I love that my father and grandfathers took me hunting, foraging, fishing, etc. when I was a kid. It really does drive home the fact that you are on THEIR turf, and play by THEIR rules. Like you said, it's not their fault if you get hurt--that's what happens in nature. Most animals have died from predation of one sort or another, after all.
__________________
GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 09:31 AM   #86
Polaris
Philosopher
 
Polaris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,367
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
After seeing a mountain lion jump to a ledge to get a closer look at my dog in a zoo (he's a therapy dog; it's part of his training), I'm not sure I like even that. Those things only remained in the cage because they wanted to remain there--none of us watching had any doubt that the cats could break out without exerting much effort.
Mountain lions are acrobats. They can jump 19' straight up, and 45' (!!!) horizontally. Their enclosures require roofs. The same is true for the rest of the cats where I work (I've been in one without roofs for the lions and tigers, since they can't jump that high and if they did, the fence would fall back on them). The cages where I work are extremely solid, and pains are taken to keep the cats happy just in case. The only ones I see as physically capable of coming close are the two white lions and one or two of the tigers. I got to play tug of war with a Bengal once (along with two other people), and he pulled us all around like it was nothing. This wasn't at the center I work in now.

The cats I deal with, I should add, aren't wild born (except for one bobcat kitten). They were nearly all born in backyard breeding mills, many of which declawed them (which is stupid in addition to cruel, since it makes them more likely to use their teeth). They were frequently abused and neglected before coming there, and most are appreciative of the kind treatment they now receive. They don't want to leave - they get food, water, comfortable living, toys and treats, and in the case of one lion, pumpkin lattes.

Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Oddly enough, the leopard geuninely wanted to play with my dog. Apparently that zoo had a show where leopards and dogs played together, so the cat thougth "Oh, it's time to have fun! I LIKE this!" The zookeeper got a kick out of it.
The big guys are all playful. It's just part of what they do, they never outgrow it. Perhaps you've seen the photos of the polar bear playing with the husky. There's video but I can't access Youtube at work. If not, here they are:

http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/polardog.asp
__________________
"There's vastly more truth to be found in rocks than in holy books. Rocks are far superior, in fact, because you can DEMONSTRATE the truth found in rocks. Plus, they're pretty. Holy books are just heavy." - Dinwar

"Let your ears hear this beautiful song that's hiding underneath the sound," Ed Kowalczyk.
Polaris is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 09:40 AM   #87
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 13,320
I don't doubt great pains were taken to keep the cat in the enclosure--but when a predator that big jumps out of nowhere (none of us saw it) and puts a paw that big on the fence, your first reaction is not "Oh, I'm perfectly safe."

That's another issue, though: How do you differentiate between play and attacking? To the cat, it's just a fun game; to the mouse, it's life-and-death. If we happen to be the mouse, it's called an attack.

Really cool pictures fo the polar bear. I never want to get that close to one, but it's neat to see them playing like that! The one where the polar bear is on its back really shows that bears and dogs are related.
__________________
GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 09:46 AM   #88
sir drinks-a-lot
Graduate Poster
 
sir drinks-a-lot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Cole Valley, CA
Posts: 1,472
Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I think its because of a decrease in hunting by humans.
Reminds me of a time I spent a couple of weeks on safari in Africa. We pulled up and parked right next to a lion and I asked one of the guides what would happen if I got out of the jeep. His answer was that the lion would run away.

A couple days later, we pulled up to another lion and I decided to enlighten an attractive woman on the jeep with my newfound knowledge and told her I could get out of the jeep and the lion would run away. The exact same guide was within earshot and told the two of us i was very mistaken. The lion would have almost certainly attacked if I was that close. The primary difference, he said, was that the previous lion was in the territory of the Masaai tribe and had learned to fear humans.
__________________
"I drink to the general joy o' th' whole table"

-William Shakespeare
sir drinks-a-lot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 09:57 AM   #89
El Greco
Summer worshipper
 
El Greco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Παρά θιν'αλός
Posts: 15,290
Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
Reminds me of a time I spent a couple of weeks on safari in Africa. We pulled up and parked right next to a lion and I asked one of the guides what would happen if I got out of the jeep. His answer was that the lion would run away.

A couple days later, we pulled up to another lion and I decided to enlighten an attractive woman on the jeep with my newfound knowledge and told her I could get out of the jeep and the lion would run away. The exact same guide was within earshot and told the two of us i was very mistaken. The lion would have almost certainly attacked if I was that close. The primary difference, he said, was that the previous lion was in the territory of the Masaai tribe and had learned to fear humans.
"Almost certainly attacked" was wrong. The vast majority of lions would flee, especially if they were not habituated to humans and there were no newborn cubs to protect. There are hundreds of walks conducted daily in various parks all over Africa for tourists, not to mention the locals. Encounters with lions are numerous, attacks are very rare.
__________________
"Robbing a bank is no crime compared to owning one" - Bertolt Brecht
"Let it go and come to bed already, El Greco" - MoeFaux

El Greco is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 10:05 AM   #90
Polaris
Philosopher
 
Polaris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,367
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
I don't doubt great pains were taken to keep the cat in the enclosure--but when a predator that big jumps out of nowhere (none of us saw it) and puts a paw that big on the fence, your first reaction is not "Oh, I'm perfectly safe."

That's another issue, though: How do you differentiate between play and attacking? To the cat, it's just a fun game; to the mouse, it's life-and-death. If we happen to be the mouse, it's called an attack.

Really cool pictures fo the polar bear. I never want to get that close to one, but it's neat to see them playing like that! The one where the polar bear is on its back really shows that bears and dogs are related.
We have a tiger that likes to jump out and startle people. It's amazing what you can get used to. They have a body language that lets you know - and it's not hard to tell when a tiger is angry at you. There is one there that for some reason simply hates me when I'm out in the visitors' area, but she puts up with me when I'm in the workers' pathway between the fences. There is also a definite predatory approach - the first picture of the polar bear shows this behavior. Hell, I see it with my house cats.

I think the difference between play and attack is that one is meant to kill. There really isn't a lot of research on the function of play, though there is a very good TED talk, featuring the bear/dog photos, about how that research may be conducted. We have a cougar that likes to stick its arm out and hook a leg that passes by, same as house cats sometimes do - it's just not as cute when it's a 200lb predator (even if he is cross-eyed).

I've never looked at the evolutionary chain WRT dogs and bears, but now I will. I've seen big cats roll on their back too when playing though - even rubbed a lion cub's belly that way (he later playfully bit a girl's leg). Hell, one of the tigers does it just because he's happy to see me.
__________________
"There's vastly more truth to be found in rocks than in holy books. Rocks are far superior, in fact, because you can DEMONSTRATE the truth found in rocks. Plus, they're pretty. Holy books are just heavy." - Dinwar

"Let your ears hear this beautiful song that's hiding underneath the sound," Ed Kowalczyk.
Polaris is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 10:11 AM   #91
Polaris
Philosopher
 
Polaris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,367
Originally Posted by El Greco View Post
"Almost certainly attacked" was wrong. The vast majority of lions would flee, especially if they were not habituated to humans and there were no newborn cubs to protect. There are hundreds of walks conducted daily in various parks all over Africa for tourists, not to mention the locals. Encounters with lions are numerous, attacks are very rare.
And they're rarer when the lion's preferred prey is plentiful, as in Namibia. Not just attacks on people, but also livestock.
__________________
"There's vastly more truth to be found in rocks than in holy books. Rocks are far superior, in fact, because you can DEMONSTRATE the truth found in rocks. Plus, they're pretty. Holy books are just heavy." - Dinwar

"Let your ears hear this beautiful song that's hiding underneath the sound," Ed Kowalczyk.
Polaris is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 10:36 AM   #92
MikeG
Philosopher
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 5,177
Seldom will you ever see anything of a lion when on foot other than it walking away from you at 100 metres or more. They are very much more aware of your presence than you are of theirs, and will do whatever is necessary to keep away. Just don't come between a mother and her hidden cubs.......

Mike
MikeG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 10:44 AM   #93
Polaris
Philosopher
 
Polaris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,367
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Seldom will you ever see anything of a lion when on foot other than it walking away from you at 100 metres or more. They are very much more aware of your presence than you are of theirs, and will do whatever is necessary to keep away. Just don't come between a mother and her hidden cubs.......

Mike
And for that matter, if you come across a cougar, lynx or bobcat kitten in the wild, do not assume it's been abandoned. Chances are mom is out hunting and wouldn't appreciate you near her offspring.
__________________
"There's vastly more truth to be found in rocks than in holy books. Rocks are far superior, in fact, because you can DEMONSTRATE the truth found in rocks. Plus, they're pretty. Holy books are just heavy." - Dinwar

"Let your ears hear this beautiful song that's hiding underneath the sound," Ed Kowalczyk.
Polaris is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 10:53 AM   #94
GlennB
Cereal pedant
 
GlennB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sapounakeika
Posts: 12,897
Originally Posted by El Greco View Post
"Almost certainly attacked" was wrong. The vast majority of lions would flee, especially if they were not habituated to humans and there were no newborn cubs to protect. There are hundreds of walks conducted daily in various parks all over Africa for tourists, not to mention the locals. Encounters with lions are numerous, attacks are very rare.
I've never been near a lion, but our son has during a 'gap year' teaching in Malawi. At the end they had their African Adventure (bungee-jumping down the Victoria Falls and stuff ) which involved a 'walk with lions' trip to a Safari Park. And there he was, walking a few feet from a grown lion.

But the guide did advise them not to trip over and fall, and not to stoop to pick up anything that they dropped. And the guide did carry a rifle.

Reminds me of discussions we've here regarding wolf attacks (and dog attacks) on humans, in which I've taken the view that it's the fact that we stand on 2 legs that makes us 'unusual' to big canines and cats and, therefore, mostly to be avoided except in extremis.
GlennB is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 11:02 AM   #95
ToddH
Critical Thinker
 
ToddH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Heart of the bible belt
Posts: 365
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
You've never lived in the South. Hog attacks aren't terribly uncommon in some of those areas. Of course, the South being the South they have the perfect solution for it: wild hog bacon. Just don't pet the pit bull of any hog hunter. Trust me on that one.
I was born and raised in Georgia. I've had two encounters with wild hogs. The first time was as a teen where he chased me through the woods until I managed to jump a fence to get away. The second time was when I was sitting by a campfire and it walked right up to our campsite and stared at me from the other side of the fire. Scared the crap out of me.

I've actually been chased by a black bear once as well. Must have stumbled upon her and her cubs. Probably the fastest I've ever ran in my life.
ToddH is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 11:05 AM   #96
macdoc
Philosopher
 
macdoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Planet earth on slow boil
Posts: 6,174
snack time

http://www.guzer.com/lion-goes-after-baby
macdoc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 11:09 AM   #97
Polaris
Philosopher
 
Polaris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,367
Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Forbidden: humor/joke.

I hate my company sometimes.

A 9lb baby wouldn't be a snack, it'd be a meal for a lion.
__________________
"There's vastly more truth to be found in rocks than in holy books. Rocks are far superior, in fact, because you can DEMONSTRATE the truth found in rocks. Plus, they're pretty. Holy books are just heavy." - Dinwar

"Let your ears hear this beautiful song that's hiding underneath the sound," Ed Kowalczyk.
Polaris is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 11:13 AM   #98
macdoc
Philosopher
 
macdoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Planet earth on slow boil
Posts: 6,174
Barely - not the recommended daily intake ;-)
macdoc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 11:16 AM   #99
Polaris
Philosopher
 
Polaris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,367
Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Barely - not the recommended daily intake ;-)
Two underweight babies then.

We feed our lions and tigers around 8 lbs of meat daily, give or take depending on size. The white lions get more like 12 but they're unusually large (700 lbs, in fact).
__________________
"There's vastly more truth to be found in rocks than in holy books. Rocks are far superior, in fact, because you can DEMONSTRATE the truth found in rocks. Plus, they're pretty. Holy books are just heavy." - Dinwar

"Let your ears hear this beautiful song that's hiding underneath the sound," Ed Kowalczyk.
Polaris is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 11:18 AM   #100
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 13,320
Originally Posted by Polaris
They have a body language that lets you know - and it's not hard to tell when a tiger is angry at you.
That requires you to know they're there. The first we saw of that cat was it flying through the air (over a gap that would have killed me).

But I get what you're saying. Once I had time to make my monkey-brain shut up and look at the situation objectively, I could tell that the cat was thinking more along the lines of "What is that noisy thing down there that smells kinda funny?" than "Lunchtime!" The fact that it had a puzzled look on its face was a good hint.
__________________
GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 11:41 AM   #101
El Greco
Summer worshipper
 
El Greco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Παρά θιν'αλός
Posts: 15,290
Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
I've never been near a lion, but our son has during a 'gap year' teaching in Malawi. At the end they had their African Adventure (bungee-jumping down the Victoria Falls and stuff ) which involved a 'walk with lions' trip to a Safari Park. And there he was, walking a few feet from a grown lion.

But the guide did advise them not to trip over and fall, and not to stoop to pick up anything that they dropped. And the guide did carry a rifle.

Reminds me of discussions we've here regarding wolf attacks (and dog attacks) on humans, in which I've taken the view that it's the fact that we stand on 2 legs that makes us 'unusual' to big canines and cats and, therefore, mostly to be avoided except in extremis.
I've been on the same activity, Lion Walk near Victoria Falls The lions we got were subadults.



I've also stepped out of a vehicle on multiple occasions in order to take better pics of lions close by. The lions' reactions were either to leave or to pay absolutely no attention to me.

By the way, I've noticed a disagreement of experts regarding whether lions can tell that there are humans in a vehicle or whether they perceive a vehicle as a completely different "animal". For example, Trevor Carnaby believes that lions can't understand that there are humans in vehicles, while James Stevenson-Hamilton was certain that they know all the time.
__________________
"Robbing a bank is no crime compared to owning one" - Bertolt Brecht
"Let it go and come to bed already, El Greco" - MoeFaux


Last edited by El Greco; 4th January 2013 at 11:44 AM.
El Greco is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 11:54 AM   #102
Polaris
Philosopher
 
Polaris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,367
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
That requires you to know they're there. The first we saw of that cat was it flying through the air (over a gap that would have killed me).

But I get what you're saying. Once I had time to make my monkey-brain shut up and look at the situation objectively, I could tell that the cat was thinking more along the lines of "What is that noisy thing down there that smells kinda funny?" than "Lunchtime!" The fact that it had a puzzled look on its face was a good hint.
Definitely. Big cats are excellent at stealth. I sometimes lose sight of the ones I'm around even when I know they're there. I'm intrigued by the thought of a neck guard for hiking in cougar country, similar to what Marines used to wear to avoid beheadings by sabres aboard ships of the line. When Jim Hamm was attacked, the cougar went for the back of his neck and wasn't able to bite because the top of his backpack was in the way.

This wouldn't work with tigers, of course. These are animals that can bite a bowling ball in half.
__________________
"There's vastly more truth to be found in rocks than in holy books. Rocks are far superior, in fact, because you can DEMONSTRATE the truth found in rocks. Plus, they're pretty. Holy books are just heavy." - Dinwar

"Let your ears hear this beautiful song that's hiding underneath the sound," Ed Kowalczyk.
Polaris is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 12:35 PM   #103
Spockette
Scholar
 
Spockette's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 109
Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
If there is an actual increase, then one liklihood is encroaching aspects of civilization (i.e. humans) is using/destroying habitats leaving them less territority and more pissoffidiced
This and rabies.
Spockette is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 12:57 PM   #104
Polaris
Philosopher
 
Polaris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,367
Originally Posted by Spockette View Post
This and rabies.
I think that's more of a risk with domestic animals than wild, but it does definitely change an animal's behavior toward aggression. One of the earliest documented mountain lion attacks in N. America led to two deaths from rabies, rather than the actual cat.
__________________
"There's vastly more truth to be found in rocks than in holy books. Rocks are far superior, in fact, because you can DEMONSTRATE the truth found in rocks. Plus, they're pretty. Holy books are just heavy." - Dinwar

"Let your ears hear this beautiful song that's hiding underneath the sound," Ed Kowalczyk.
Polaris is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 03:09 PM   #105
W.D.Clinger
Master Poster
 
W.D.Clinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,789
Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
On the other hand you hear reports of campers being attacked in their sleep.
No I don't.
Wikipedia's current list of fatal bear attacks in North America lists these examples of campers being attacked in their tents:

25 June 1983, Roger May, 23, male:
Quote:
May was dragged from his tent, and eaten at the Rainbow Point campground, northwest of Yellowstone National Park.
30 July 1984, Brigitta Fredenhagen, 25, female:
Quote:
Fredenhagen was dragged from her tent during the night and killed at a backcountry campsite at the southern end of White Lake in Yellowstone National Park.
26 May 1991, James Waddell, 12, male:
Quote:
In the Marten River Campground, Waddel was dragged from a tent during the night and killed.
17 June 2007, Samuel Evan Ives, 11, male:
Quote:
Ives was grabbed from a family tent in American Fork Canyon, and mauled....It was the first known fatal black bear attack in Utah.
28 July 2010, Kevin Kammer, 48, male:
Quote:
Kammer was in his tent at Soda Butte Campground when a mother bear attacked and dragged him 25 feet (7.6 m) away. Two other campers in separate campsites were also attacked: a teenager was bitten in the leg, and a woman was bitten in the arm and leg.

Those of us who camp and hike in North America do hear about those rare incidents of sleeping campers being attacked by bears.

Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
I take it you're not going to provide any evidence that there is actually the increase in attacks you claim?

I don't recall any evidence that attacks have increased, but I'd be surprised if they haven't. As increasing numbers of humans invade bear and cougar habitat, it would be surprising if the number of attacks haven't increased.

Note also the first sentence of Wikipedia's current article on coyote attacks:

Quote:
Coyote attacks on humans are uncommon and rarely cause serious injuries, due to the relatively small size of the coyote, but have been increasingly frequent, especially in the state of California. In the 30 years leading up to March 2006, at least 160 attacks occurred in the United States, mostly in the Los Angeles County area.
On Cape Breton, there have been at least two incidents of coyotes attacking humans within the last four years. The first of those attacks took place on a popular hiking trail, and was fatal.
W.D.Clinger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 04:18 PM   #106
quarky
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 20,448
Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
You've never lived in the South. Hog attacks aren't terribly uncommon in some of those areas. Of course, the South being the South they have the perfect solution for it: wild hog bacon. Just don't pet the pit bull of any hog hunter. Trust me on that one.
I hope that wasn't meant for me.
I have, and do live in the south.

Are you aware of the problems with feral hogs in the Canadian prairies?
They have a bounty program in Saskatchewan.

It's not a southern thang.
These hogs are wildly adaptable, and omnivorous. They remind me of black bears, which are common in Florida and Canada...and racoons...which have an extraordinary range.

Come to think of it, so do cougars. A few still manage in the Everglades.
quarky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th January 2013, 07:32 PM   #107
macdoc
Philosopher
 
macdoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Planet earth on slow boil
Posts: 6,174
Apparently rumours in the Maritime Provinces as well.

Feral hogs are a problem in Queensland Aus. I've come on very fresh sign when riding out in the forest tracks.

But here's an up close and personal with a very dangerous beast that has huge record of attacks on humans - hundreds in a year. I shot this from about 3 meters and yes it's wild

http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m...t=P1030976.mp4

and one reason so dangerous

http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m...t=P1030986.mp4

protective....
macdoc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th January 2013, 10:04 PM   #108
OnlyTellsTruths
 
OnlyTellsTruths's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 7,686
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I don't think hippos kill people to eat them, but it reminded me that crocs definitely do.

Yeah I thought of crocs too, but at that time I was still thinking one of the requirements was mammal!!
__________________
________________________
OnlyTellsTruths is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th January 2013, 10:33 PM   #109
OnlyTellsTruths
 
OnlyTellsTruths's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 7,686
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
but the 24,000 feral dog victims and 20,000 to 32,000 snake-bite victims are both WHO figures.

So you're lumping all of the types of dogs together, and all of the types of snakes together and comparing that to just hippos?? That makes sense to you? It sure sounds fishy to me... are there also thousands of types of hippos or something?



Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
If you google, you will find all the usual nonsense about hippos being the most dangerous animal in Africa........but it's tosh.

It may be, but it seems the above might be "tosh" as well.


The list I saw had the most killed by one type of snake, which was a type of cobra I believe, and it was below the hippo numbers.

Then again, at least you backed off the 30 number...
__________________
________________________
OnlyTellsTruths is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th January 2013, 10:46 PM   #110
OnlyTellsTruths
 
OnlyTellsTruths's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 7,686
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Most likely grizzly man Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend, for starters:

That makes me so sad. He loved those bears so much.
__________________
________________________
OnlyTellsTruths is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th January 2013, 04:15 AM   #111
EHocking
Philosopher
 
EHocking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,283
Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
...But here's an up close and personal with a very dangerous beast that has huge record of attacks on humans - hundreds in a year.
This has always bothered me - I believe that the cassowary is being seriously maligned by unchecked rumour and campfire stories.

Do you have a cite for "hundreds" of attacks on humans annually?

A paper presented to the Museum of Queensland looked into 221 cassowary attacks - only 150 were on humans and only 8 of them resulted in serious injury. Of those 8, 5 were by cassowaries that had been fed previously by humans.

Of the 150 "attacks" 71% were when victims were chased or charged and only 15% of the attacks resulted in the bird kicking.

73% of the total incidents were from the birds "appeared to be expecting or soliciting food from humans". The rest of the incidents were assessed as;defending food 5%; defending themselves 15%; defending chicks or eggs 7%.

The one recorded fatality occurred in 1926 (so the records go back a while - but that's still only 221 recorded attacks in 73 years) and this occurred when two boys and their docks attacked the bird.
Quote:
I shot this from about 3 meters and yes it's wild

http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m...t=P1030976.mp4

and one reason so dangerous

http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m...t=P1030986.mp4

protective....
... only 7% of the time according to the reports reviewed - the majority of the time it's because humans are hassling them.
__________________
"A closed mouth gathers no feet"
"Ignorance is a renewable resource" P.J.O'Rourke
Prayer: "a sophisticated way of pleading with thunderstorms." T.Pratchett
"It's all god's handiwork, there's little quality control applied", Fox26 reporter on Texas granite
Forum Birdwatching Webpage

Last edited by EHocking; 6th January 2013 at 04:16 AM. Reason: quoting
EHocking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th January 2013, 07:47 AM   #112
macdoc
Philosopher
 
macdoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Planet earth on slow boil
Posts: 6,174
While the fatalities are few the attacks and injuries are numerous.

These guys know the risk as does my GF who has a biology degree and numerous encounters when she was researching rain forest trees.

Quote:
In 1999 there were 144 documented cassowary attacks on humans in Australia, six causing serious injury.
their opening statement about preferring a to be in with a 1 ton croc than the cassowary says it all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA58sS3x2Oo

Here is a well done article and it confirms your point about fatalities but the number of attacks and injuries make it a very risky proposition

this is where we stayed and I filmed the bird in my videos from a spot above on the back porch - dumb luck - I forgot my spare battery and went back and saw movement in the bush. There had not been any seen for three months.

http://www.amazingaustralia.com.au/a...ry-attacks.htm

another good overview

http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzool...ries-kick-ass/

Lucky they are fruit eaters
macdoc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th January 2013, 08:11 AM   #113
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 13,320
Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
Definitely. Big cats are excellent at stealth. I sometimes lose sight of the ones I'm around even when I know they're there. I'm intrigued by the thought of a neck guard for hiking in cougar country, similar to what Marines used to wear to avoid beheadings by sabres aboard ships of the line. When Jim Hamm was attacked, the cougar went for the back of his neck and wasn't able to bite because the top of his backpack was in the way.

This wouldn't work with tigers, of course. These are animals that can bite a bowling ball in half.
Hm. I'll have to break out the gorget next time I'm hiking in the mountains. That thing'll stop a glaive, so it'll at least offer SOME protection to me.

I wish I could say this was the first time I've used armor at work.

Originally Posted by quarky
I hope that wasn't meant for me.
It was intended to be read as good-natured ribbing, nothing more.
__________________
GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th January 2013, 08:58 AM   #114
Correa Neto
Philosopher
 
Correa Neto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Hunting rocks somewhere in Brazil
Posts: 8,104
It is interesting to check the different perceptions people have. It seems most are focusing on the big game, and this is due to their experiences - North America and Africa. My experience is at South America jungles. Quite often people who are not used to them start to worry about jaguars and pumas. Well, they are the least of your worries there. The small unseen critters are what you should worry about. Wasps, bees, scorpions, spicers, ticks, leeches, mosquitos... Heck, some catterpillars can kill you! These bugs are the main cause of concern, not to mention some plants can cause very bad allergic reactions. So, careful with where you put your hands...

Then you have the snakes. But they will usually steer away from you - if they have space for it.

At last and trailing very far behind you have the mammals, but not the big cats. Hogs, wild hogs running in large groups. Get ready to climb a tree. Always keep an eye for trees you can climb if you are at an area where there are these wild hogs.

Big cats? Meh. Jaguars and pumas tend to stay away from humans. They learned humans are dangerous. Young curious jaguars may approach humans' houses. Some inexperient (or lucky if they survived the first attempts) jaguars may approach horses, cattle or sheep, focusing on the younger animals. Pumas are too shy, but may come closer to humans when hunting rats and other animals attracted by our garbage.

Most meetings can be described as a fleeting glimpse of the cat running away or as cat and men runing away in opposite directions. I can recall a single deadly incident involving a big cat at the places I worked at. A woman suffered a heart attack when she found a jaguar eating her horse - and no one knows if the jaguar actually killed the horse or was just scavenging. There are however, tales of kids being killed by jaguars at a mining site in the middle of the jungle. Biologists believe they were after the animals attracted by garbage and happened to find the kids. A fence solved the issue.

Now, injuries and even deaths by wasps, bees, scorpions, spiders, etc. are much more frequent. Had some close calls with snakes, know of three cases of people working with me who were "attacked" by snakes. I wrote "attacked" because cases were actually defensive moves. Can't number the cases involving bugs...
__________________
Racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia, intolerance, extremism, authoritarianism, environmental disasters, politically correct crap, violence at sport stadiums, slavery, poverty, wars, people who disagree with me:
Together we can find the cure
Oh, and together we can find a cure to religion too…
Correa Neto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th January 2013, 09:27 AM   #115
macdoc
Philosopher
 
macdoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Planet earth on slow boil
Posts: 6,174
Yeah I think it's the idea of being "prey" all of a sudden when humans are used to be top predator that makes it fascinating even tho walking in a city is likely more dangerous.

Actually being hunted is the stuff of kids nightmares and being eaten in particular.
Crocs, lions, tigers and leopards and sharks and to a lesser degree bears are figures of fear.....when in reality it's the sodden h sapien behind the wheel that should figure high in the fearful beast category
macdoc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th January 2013, 10:05 AM   #116
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 13,320
Originally Posted by Correa Neto
Had some close calls with snakes, know of three cases of people working with me who were "attacked" by snakes.
Oddly enough, I've only had one encounter with a snake. A coworker of mine was walking in front of me during a survey, and nearly stepped on a young Mojave Green. Fortunately it was cold enough that the snake just wanted to be left alone to sun itself, and didn't try to bite either of us.

Originally Posted by macdoc
when in reality it's the sodden h sapien behind the wheel that should figure high in the fearful beast category
The most dangerous aspect of any of my job sites has been getting TO my job sites. The leading cause of death in my profession is vehicle crashes.
__________________
GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th January 2013, 01:10 PM   #117
MikeG
Philosopher
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 5,177
Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths View Post
So you're lumping all of the types of dogs together, and all of the types of snakes together and comparing that to just hippos?? That makes sense to you? It sure sounds fishy to me... are there also thousands of types of hippos or something?
There is only one species of feral dog. All domestic dogs are the same species.Canis familiaris, or something like that, from memory.

Two snakes do most of the killing in Africa: the saw-scaled viper and the puff adder. The figures of 20,000 to 32,000 deaths per year from snake bite are World Health Organisation figures, and were from the BBC Wildlife magazine, about 18 months or so ago. I saw the figure in a magazine in a dentist's waiting room, and noted it in my diary. You are most welcome to provide alternative figures if you can find them.

ETA...........here is a paper citing the WHO figure of 20,000 deaths in Africa .....and the quote: "The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that <2,500,000 venomous snakebites per year result in 125,000 deaths worldwide, 100,000 of which are in Asia and approximately 20,000 in Africa.

If you want to argue with Science Daily over the rabies figures, feel free. Wiki agrees: "Approximately 24 000 people die annually in Africa[9] a rate of approximately 23 per million population"

There are 2 types of hippo, but I doubt the pygmy hippo does much killing.

There, I provided my citations. Your turn.....this "list I've (you've) seen"......care to share?

Mike

Last edited by MikeG; 6th January 2013 at 01:21 PM.
MikeG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th January 2013, 02:29 PM   #118
El Greco
Summer worshipper
 
El Greco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Παρά θιν'αλός
Posts: 15,290
Originally Posted by Correa Neto View Post
It is interesting to check the different perceptions people have. It seems most are focusing on the big game, and this is due to their experiences - North America and Africa. My experience is at South America jungles.
It's not that; of course the most lethal animals are the smallest ones. Mosquitos, spiders, bacteria, virii, etc. However the title of the thread implies an animal behaviour that is linked to a rather large brain. "Animal attack" doesn't usually refer to mosquitos or poisonous amphibians.
__________________
"Robbing a bank is no crime compared to owning one" - Bertolt Brecht
"Let it go and come to bed already, El Greco" - MoeFaux

El Greco is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th January 2013, 02:29 PM   #119
Dinwar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 13,320
Originally Posted by MikeG
There is only one species of feral dog. All domestic dogs are the same species.Canis familiaris, or something like that, from memory.
Depends on how you define species. I tend to take the view that at least some dog breeds are different species (a min-pin can't mate with a great dane, I've seen one try). But that's a whole other argument. Suffice to say, our concept of species doesn't work too good with dogs. Or, rather, none of our species concepts do.
__________________
GENERATION 8: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
Dinwar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th January 2013, 04:59 PM   #120
Garrette
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 12,410
Bit of a tangent, perhaps, but it seems the thread has gone that way, and since we seem to have some big cat experts here, I thought I would ask a question I have had for many years.

Does a tiger's roar literally paralyze a human with fear, i.e., does the roar do more than simply impart the already terrifying knowledge that a virtually unstoppable man-eater is nearby? Is there something physiological/biological behind it that works in the tiger's favor?

This isn't where I first heard it, but this link summarizes what I heard years ago.

My children scoff when I tell them that one of the things I want to do is to hear a tiger's roar. Not the roar of annoyance you might here in the zoo because pesky tourists are bothering it, but the roar of the beast closing in. Of course, I would prefer to hear it while safely enclosed in a super-ultra-tested and ultra-song tiger-proof cage with armed guards around....
__________________
My kids still love me.
Garrette is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

JREF Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:01 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2001-2013, James Randi Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.