Category Archive 'Human Predation'
28 Jan 2018

The Real End of Timothy Treadwell

, , , , ,

The Onion:

LOS ANGELES—Shedding new light on the tragic ending to his critically acclaimed portrait of the animal activist, filmmaker Werner Herzog told reporters Wednesday that he killed and ate Timothy Treadwell in 2003. “I should finally say that during the filming of my documentary Grizzly Man, I mauled Timothy Treadwell to death and then devoured his remains,” said Herzog, admitting after 15 years that it was in fact he and not the grizzly bears of Katmai National Park who sunk his teeth into Treadwell’s neck, ripped out his jugular, and feasted on his organs. “Timothy and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were setting up camp by a salmon stream when I approached them, aggressively batted them around, and then tore them limb-from-limb while they screamed. His judgment was perhaps clouded by his optimistic view of nature, which, in the end, sadly led to me picking his bones clean.” Herzog went on to say that the most tragic part of the story was that, after years of integration, Treadwell felt he had finally gained his trust.

04 Jan 2018

A Man-Eating Elephant

, , , , ,

David Shepherd, Wise Old Elephant, 1960s

Recently on FB, one of my college friend’s associates was abusing the younger Trumps for hunting elephants. He described elephants as intelligent and affectionate creatures, and stated that the idea of people hunting them made him weep.

This fellow was a typical example of the deracinated and emasculated urban male, who draws his understanding of the natural world from sentimental, anthropomorphizing nature programs in the mode of Disney. People like this think meat grows on supermarket shelves and that elderly wild animals retire to live on pensions in nursing homes.

The reality is that big game animals, particularly elephants, are commonly in direct competition with African natives for living space. Elephants, additionally, constitute huge potential windfall sources of meat and ivory and inevitably attract poachers. African countries take care to protect and preserve wild elephants in a world in which wealthy foreign sportsmen, like the Trumps, come to hunt, providing lots of local employment for safari staff at a cost of thousands of dollars per diem and fork over $25K or more for elephant license fees. It’s the hunters who provide both the incentive and the financing for game conservation.

As to the affectionate character of elephants, like a lot of other animals, elephants are known to kill the offspring of competing males, and sometimes simply to become rogue killers. My college friend’s New York associate obviously never read Sir Samuel Baker and has no idea that elephants have been known to turn maneater….

There was a notorious rogue elephant at Dolana about 30 years ago whose ferocity was so extreme that he took complete possession of a certain part of the country adjoining the lake. He had killed eight or nine persons, and his whole object in existence appeared to be the waylaying and destruction of the natives. He was of enormous size, and was well known by a peculiar flesh-colored forehead.

In those days there were no firearms in this part of the country; therefore there was no protection for either life or property from this monster, who would invade the paddy fields at night and actually pull down the watchhouses, regardless of the blazing fires which were lighted on the hearth of sand on the summit; these he used to scatter about and extinguish. He had killed several natives in this manner, involving them in the common ruin with their watchhouses. The terror created by this elephant was so extreme that the natives deserted the neighborhood that he infested.

Many months passed away without his being either seen or heard of. The people began to hope that he had died from the effect of poisoned arrows, which had frequently been shot at him from the watchhouses in high trees. By degrees the terror of his name had lost its power, and he ceased to be thought of.

It was in the cool of the evening, about an hour before sunset, that about 20 of the women from the village were upon the grassy borders of the lake, engaged in sorting and tying into bundles the rushes that they had been gathering during the day for making mats. They were on the point of starting homeward with their loads when the sudden trumpet of an elephant was heard, and to their horror they saw the well-known rogue, with the unmistakable mark upon his forehead, coming down in full charge upon them. The ground was perfectly open; there were no trees for some hundred yards, except the jungle from which he was advancing at a frightful speed.

An indiscriminate flight of course took place, and a race of terror commenced. In a few seconds the monster was among them, and, seizing a young girl in his trunk, he held her high in the air and halted, as though uncertain how to dispose of his helpless victim. The girl, meanwhile, was vainly shrieking for assistance, and the petrified troop of women, having gained the shelter of some jungle, gazed panic-stricken upon the impending fate of their companion.

To their horror, the elephant slowly lowered her in his trunk till near the ground, when he gradually again raised her, and, bringing her head into his mouth, a report was heard like the crack of a whip—it was the sudden crushing of her skull. Tearing the head off by the neck, he devoured it and, placing his forefoot upon the body, tore the arms and legs from their sockets with his trunk, devouring every portion of her.


06 Dec 2017

Spiders Could Theoretically Eat Every Human on Earth in One Year

, , ,

Christopher Ingraham, in the WaPo Wonkblog:

The World’s spider population weighs 29 million tons — as much as 478 Titanics.

Spiders are quite literally all around us. A recent entomological survey of North Carolina homes turned up spiders in 100 percent of them, including 68 percent of bathrooms and more than three-quarters of bedrooms. There’s a good chance at least one spider is staring at you right now, sizing you up from a darkened corner of the room, eight eyes glistening in the shadows.

Spiders mostly eat insects, although some of the larger species have been known to snack on lizards, birds and even small mammals. Given their abundance and the voraciousness of their appetites, two European biologists recently wondered: If you were to tally up all the food eaten by the world’s entire spider population in a single year, how much would it be?

Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer published their estimate in the journal the Science of Nature earlier this month, and the number they arrived at is frankly shocking: The world’s spiders consume somewhere between 400 million and 800 million tons of prey in any given year. That means that spiders eat at least as much meat as all 7 billion humans on the planet combined, who the authors note consume about 400 million tons of meat and fish each year.

Or, for a slightly more disturbing comparison: The total biomass of all adult humans on Earth is estimated to be 287 million tons. Even if you tack on another 70 million-ish tons to account for the weight of kids, it’s still not equal to the total amount of food eaten by spiders in a given year, exceeding the total weight of humanity.

In other words, spiders could eat all of us and still be hungry.


04 Oct 2017

Indonesian Man Wins Fight with Giant Python

, , ,

AFP via Breitbart:

A giant python attacked an Indonesian man, nearly severing his arm, before hungry villagers chopped up the reptile and ate it, a police chief said Wednesday.

Security guard Robert Nababan crossed paths with the giant creature while patrolling an oil palm plantation in the remote Batang Gansal subdistrict of Sumatra island on Saturday.

“The python was 7.8 metres long (25.6 feet), it was unbelievably huge,” local police chief Sutarja, who like many Indonesians only has one name, told AFP.

Sutarja said the 37-year-old Nababan, who sometimes liked to eat snake, tried to catch the giant python and stuff it in a gunny sack.

But the huge serpent fought back and bit him on his left arm, nearly severing it from his body.

Nababan was then rushed to a hospital in a neighbouring town for treatment.

The police chief said the intervention of another security guard and several local residents, one of whom hit the snake with a log, helped to save the man’s life.

Hungry locals later killed the snake and displayed its body in the village before dicing it up, frying it and feasting on it.

Giant python, which regularly top 20 feet in length, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines.

In March, a 25-year-old Indonesian farmer has been discovered inside the belly of a giant python after the swollen snake was caught near where the man vanished while harvesting his crops on the eastern island of Sulawesi.

Wikipedia: Reticulated Python.

15 Sep 2017

Eat ‘Em All

, , ,

Fox News reports that a reporter for a prestigious newspaper was eaten by a crocodile.

A Financial Times journalist was killed by a crocodile while washing his hands at a lagoon in Sri Lanka during a holiday with pals.

Paul McClean, 25, an Oxford University graduate, is understood to have wandered away from his group of friends to find a toilet when he was attacked.

The British victim is believed to have been dragged under water at a lagoon called Crocodile Rock near a popular surf spot after being ambushed by the reptile.

McClean graduated from Oxford with a First class honors degree in French in 2015 before joining the Financial Times later that year.

He had covered Brexit and the European Union for the newspaper and had recently returned to London after living in Brussels for a couple of months.

The lagoon, known to be crawling with crocodiles, is yards away from popular surf spot Elephant Rock near Arugam Bay on the southeast coast.

Sri Lankan police and the army are said to be searching the shore surrounding the area.

Locals claimed the victim had been staying at the East Beach Surf Resort – located just minutes away from the surfing area he went missing from.

Fawas Lafeer, owner of Safa Surf School, located up the coast from where the incident happened, said: “A local fisherman witnessed a man being dragged into a river, set back from the beach, by a crocodile. The fisherman was on the opposite side of the river and downstream of the incident location.”


28 Jul 2017

Darn! She Almost Had Him

, , ,

A young sow named Bear 148 almost caught a fleeing bicyclist earlier this month in British Columbia. Had it not been for a passing couple and their truck, she would have.

Sporting Classics:

Two Idaho sightseers wanted to see wildlife on a recent trip to Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, along the BC-Alberta line. Did they ever! The couple was driving a pickup truck along Highway 93 when they spotted a bicyclist heading their way, fast. It wasn’t until they saw what was behind him that his need for speed became clear.

A young grizzly bear, known to local authorities as Bear 148, was hot on the cyclist’s trail.

“I was sitting in the passenger seat and had my cell phone and had been taking scenic pictures all the way,” Cassie Beyer told CBC News. She continued taking pictures as the chase unfolded, snapping the above image during the process.

Another driver began honking their horn at the bear, allowing Beyer’s husband to put their truck between the cyclist and Bear 148. With the cyclist safe, the couple then headed on down the road.

This wasn’t the first encounter with humans Bear 148 has had this year. The young sow has chased a woman who was pushing a stroller and walking her dog; has interrupted a rugby event at a nearby high school; and has followed a number of hikers. She was relocated to nearby Kootenay National Park earlier in July but returned to Radium within two days.

As amazing as the bear’s brazenness is, the public’s outcry over the incident is even more so. Locals are organizing protests against the Alberta government’s decision to euthanize the bear if any more incidents occur, despite the many close calls people have had with 148 in 2017.


Well, if Bear 148 will stick to only eating bicylists, I think she ought to be treated as a priceless natural resource, be bred from, and have her offspring transplanted to Eastern states.

08 Jul 2017

Watch Out For This Bear!

, ,

20 Apr 2017

First Tsavo Man-Eater, Scientists Find, Had a Toothache

, , , , ,

Colonel Patterson with the first deceased Man-Eater.

Vanderbilt News:

An analysis of the microscopic wear on the teeth of the legendary “man-eating lions of Tsavo” reveals that it wasn’t desperation that drove them to terrorize a railroad camp in Kenya more than a century ago.

“Our results suggest that preying on people was not the lions’ last resort, rather, it was simply the easiest solution to a problem that they confronted,” said Larisa DeSantis, assistant professor of earth and environmental studies at Vanderbilt University.

The study, which she performed with Bruce Patterson, MacArthur Curator of Mammals at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, is described in a paper titled “Dietary behavior of man-eating lions as revealed by dental microwear textures” published online April 19 by the journal Nature: Scientific Reports. …

In order to shed light on the lion’s motivations, DeSantis employed state-of-the-art dental microwear analysis on the teeth of three man-eating lions from the Field Museum’s collection: the two Tsavo lions and a lion from Mfuwe, Zambia that consumed at least six people in 1991. The analysis can provide valuable information about the nature of animal’s diet in the days and weeks before its death.

DeSantis and Patterson undertook the study to investigate the theory that prey shortages may have driven the lions to man eating. At the time, the Tsavo region was in the midst of a two-year drought and a rinderpest epidemic that had ravaged the local wildlife. If the lions were desperate for food and scavenging carcasses, the man-eating lions should have dental microwear similar to hyenas, which routinely chew and digest the bones of their prey.

“Despite contemporary reports of the sound of the lion’s crunching on the bones of their victims at the edge of the camp, the Tsavo lion’s teeth do not show wear patterns consistent with eating bones,” said DeSantis. “In fact, the wear patterns on their teeth are strikingly similar to those of zoo lions that are typically provisioned with soft foods like beef and horsemeat.”

The study provides new support for the proposition that dental disease and injury may play a determining role in turning individual lions into habitual man eaters. The Tsavo lion that did the most man eating, as established through chemical analysis of the lions’ bones and fur in a previous study, had severe dental disease. It had a root-tip abscess in one of its canines—a painful infection at the root of the tooth that would have made normal hunting impossible.

“Lions normally use their jaws to grab prey like zebras and buffalos and suffocate them,” Patterson explained. “This lion would have been challenged to subdue and kill large struggling prey. Humans are so much easier to catch.”

The diseased lion’s partner, on the other hand, had less pronounced injuries to its teeth and jaw—injuries that are fairly common in lions which are not man eaters. According to the same chemical analysis, it consumed a lot more zebras and buffalos, and far fewer people, than its hunting companion.

30 Mar 2017

Missing Man Found Inside 23-Foot Python

, ,

National Geographic:

At first the video is blurry and difficult to make out. A bunch of men standing around a python begin slicing its belly down the middle. It soon becomes apparent that something of note is inside the giant snake, but it’s not immediately clear what has drawn so much attention.

Then you see it: An entire grown man, swallowed whole, lies dead inside the python.

According to local news reports, the body found inside the 23-foot-long snake turned out to be 25-year-old Akbar Salubiro, a harvester who worked on a palm oil plantation on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. He was reported missing on March 26.

Local media also report that the snake involved is a reticulated python. These snakes are among some of the largest in the world, growing over 20 feet long and weighing more than a hundred pounds.

Full story.

19 Mar 2017

“Unprecedented and a Totally Isolated Incident,” He Said

, ,


A rising Canadian folk singer was killed by coyotes this week in a national park in Nova Scotia, a park spokesman said Thursday.

Taylor Mitchell, 19, was at the beginning of the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park on Tuesday afternoon when she was attacked, according to Chip Bird, the Parks Canada field unit superintendent for Cape Breton.

Bird said hikers saw the coyotes attacking Mitchell and called 911. She was airlifted to a hospital in Halifax, where she died about 12 hours later, he said.

Mitchell was recently nominated for Young Performer of the Year honors by Canadian Folk Music Awards. She was touring the Maritime provinces and had a break between gigs to go hiking Tuesday, her manager, Lisa Weitz, said in an e-mail.

“She loved the woods and had a deep affinity for their beauty and serenity,” she wrote.

“Words can’t begin to express the sadness and tragedy of losing such a sweet, compassionate, vibrant, and phenomenally talented young woman,” Weitz said.

“Her warmth, loving nature, astounding artistry, and infectious enthusiasm will be so missed and forever remembered.”

Mitchell, who was originally from the Georgian Bay area in Ontario, lived in Toronto, Weitz said.

Bird said the area where the attack occurred is popular and well traveled. It remained closed, and park authorities had shot one coyote believed to be involved. A pathologist will test the animal’s body for diseases that might have triggered the attack, he said.

Searches for other aggressive animals in the park continue, he said.

“Public safety is our primary concern,” he said.

He said no other coyote attacks had ever occurred in the park. “We’ve had coyotes approach people too closely,” he said, and about six years ago one nipped a person.

That animal was killed because of “lack of fear,” he said.

But Tuesday’s attack is “unprecedented and a totally isolated incident,” he said.

100 years ago, human beings engaging in recreational activity in wilderness areas inhabited by large predators would normally be armed. Not today.

03 Nov 2016

Archery Hunter Stops Bear Charge with One Arrow

, , ,


Russel Ferster is one heck of a bow shot is all I have to say.

Sporting Classics:

Ferster was hoping to put his archery skills to good use September 11, 2016, but not on a bear, and certainly not in a life-or-death situation. He and his 11-year-old brother, Lane, were elk hunting in Montana’s Crazy Mountains when a black bear responded to their cow call.

“We weren’t even fifteen minutes out of the pickup and I decided to cow call twice,” Ferster told the Billings Gazette.

The bear burst from nearby cover and closed to within 15 yards in an instant. Ferster said it appeared to be after the “elk” and not after he and his brother. Ferster has had this occur before while elk hunting, so he raised his hands and shouted at the bear as he had done in the past.

This bear, however, wasn’t deterred.

The bear began pouncing up and down on its front legs, much like a grizzly does when it presses down on a recently killed animal. Ferster is used to dealing with grizzlies, too, so much so that he has quit hunting in several areas that held the bigger bears. But despite his usual caution, he had failed to bring either a handgun or bear spray with him on this elk hunt.

He drew his bow in readiness for a possible attack, but his movement caused the bear to surge toward him.

“He came at 100 miles an hour,” Ferster said. “I had a split second to aim and hit him in the only place that would stop him in his tracks.”

That place was the eye. His arrow met the bear’s left eye, driving inward and upward through the bear’s head. It dropped the bear almost at Ferster’s feet, the broadhead lodged just inside its skull and the nock touching Ferster’s leg.

Read the whole thing.

23 Jun 2016

Canadian Lady Uses Mother Bear to Foil Wolf

, , ,


Stalked by a wolf while picking mushrooms near Fort Smith in Canada’s North West Territories, Joanne Barnaby was forced to retreat farther and farther from the highway and her vehicle. She finally foiled her pursuer by enlisting the aid of a larger predator.

CBC News

20 Jun 2016

Russian Town Had Too Many Bears

, , ,

Unwelcome guest in Luchegorsk

Last year, dozens of hungry bears besieged Luchegorsk, a city of 21,000 in Eastern Siberia. A shortage of nuts and berries in the Primorsky region apparently caused hungry bears to enter the town opportunistically looking for food.


Dubitsky had gone only two steps when he felt that something was amiss. He turned and saw the bear in midleap. Dubitsky was knocked to the ground. The bear swiped at his throat. Dubitsky put his arm in front of his face. The bear bit into him. He heard people shouting and felt a claw rip into his groin. He passed out. A taxi driver pulled up to the building and honked, startling the bear. It jumped off Dubitsky and ran. Passersby rushed to his aid. Neighbors threw first aid from their balconies, bottles of rubbing alcohol and bundles of gauze that ribboned to the bloody ground. Nikolai and his neighbor came back outside, surveyed the scene, and decided that they needed a drink.

17 Jun 2016

Kuntzman Bleats Again

, , ,

Gersh Kuntzman

The New York Daily News’ great mind, the same Gersh Kuntzman who recently suffered from PTSD as the result of test firing an AR-15, waxes indignant over the demise of alligators from the Disneyworld lagoon, who were dispatched by the local authorities in the aftermath of one of them killing a visiting two-year-old.

Did something just go wrong? Well, kill all the animals!

That remains the standard stupid human reaction whenever our control of nature goes awry.

Like on Tuesday night after a 2-year-old was apparently eaten by an alligator on an artificial beach near Disney World. The response? Local officials killed four gators.

No disrespect to the suffering family, but let me get this straight: We built a man-made ecosystem in the natural environment of a known predator, stocked it with fish for our amusement, built a hotel with a beach on its banks, let kids wade into the water, express shock when one gets eaten — and then we kill the animal for doing exactly what animals do?

Obviously, in Kutzman’s twisted worldview, Barack Obama ought to be conducting an apology tour of the Everglades, expressing America’s regret to saurians for imperialist occupation of their swamps and deploring the species-ist view that human life is more valuable than reptilian dining.

Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the 'Human Predation' Category.

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark