I love wildlife and, as a general rule, I support limitations on the killing of endangered animals. I don’t like the idea of any species going extinct, especially if we can prevent it. While I’m not someone who believes mankind is responsible for all of it, I do think we’ve played a role in some examples of species disappearing forever.
However, no matter what the animal is, if it hurts or threatens human life, I believe it needs to be put down forthwith.
Apparently, a German cruise line felt the same way.
A German cruise line is facing outrage after one of its employees shot and killed a wild polar bear in Norway after the animal attacked one of its employees.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said its ship was docked at Spitsbergen, the largest island on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, on Saturday when the bear attacked a guard hired to go on shore before passengers to ensure there aren’t any polar bears in the area.
The guard suffered non-life-threatening head injuries and was airlifted out, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said in a statement on Facebook.
“The incident occurred when the four-person polar bear guard team, who are always on board for these expedition cruises as required by law, prepared for a shore leave,” the company said.
However, they failed to spot one bear who attacked one of the guards, the cruise line said. The other guards shot the bear after trying unsuccessfully to evict the animal, the company said.
A lot of people are upset at the cruise line over what happened, arguing that it was the bear’s territory and all that.
Look, I get it. But what else was supposed to be done? Were they supposed to let this guard be killed? Or one of the passengers?
I have little doubt that the cruise line will be evaluating their policies and procedures and will possibly rethink excursions to the island. That as well as a few other things, to be sure.
But the employees on the ground made the right call. Human life is pretty much always the priority in a situation like this. I mean, it would be different if this were some bizarre form of execution for child molesters and people who talk in the theater, but it wasn’t. It was a random animal attack.
What a lot of the people furious don’t understand is that polar bears are pretty aggressive. While they might look pretty in pictures and YouTube videos, they’re dangerous predators who don’t view humans as anything but a potential food source.
As long as that bear was present, there was a risk to every person on the ground there. The crew did what they had to do, and while it sucks, it’s what needed to happen if the bear refused to leave the area, even for a little while.
The irony? How many of these people celebrate the death of people they dislike, but get up in arms about the killing of an animal that was a danger to any people in the area?