Last Friday, a 32-year-old woman leaped a fence and scaled a wall to jump into a Berlin Zoo enclosure holding four polar bears (including Knut). Six zookeepers attempted to distract the bears, but she was still bitten several times by one of the creatures. Even though it was their normal feeding time, she was able to be pulled out safely – minus those injuries – and was rushed to the hospital for surgery. Now after my initial shock, I flashbacked to a similar situation that so disturbed me as a child, that I instantly recalled that story when hearing this one. Learn what stuck in my head some 22 years later, when you read more.
In 1987, three kids broke into the Brooklyn's Prospect Park Zoo after dark, and attempted to swim in the polar bears' moat. One child was attacked by the bears, locals called police when hearing yells but, by the time the officials arrived, the animals had eaten both his legs . . . and the officers shot and killed both bears. As a child, I was unable to comprehend most of this situation, including why they still killed Teddy and Lucy. Now, I assume we'll hear more about this 32-year-old woman's motives in coming weeks, but I commend the Berlin Zoo's quick-thinking keepers to attempt to save this women without instantly harming the bears in the process.