There’s a reason why animals at the zoo are in enclosures. Is it to keep the wild animals in or the dummies out though?
This tourist decided that teasing a bear at a temple in Phetchabun province, Thailand was a solid plan. Turns out, he was very, very wrong.
Naiphum Promratee lowered bowls of rice on a rope, dangling the food in front of the bear, only to have the animal become enraged, standing on his hind legs and grabbing the man. In a video taken of the incident, Promratee is seen being dragged into the enclosure and across the floor.
It’s a miracle that he even survived the attack. The man was knocked unconscious and suffered from bite and scratch wounds when he was mauled by the bear.
Many bystanders tried to scare the bear away so that he would leave the man alone, with others poking it with a pole and throwing water at the animal.
When none of those attempts worked and Promratee was dragged again, one person in the group entered the enclosure and began hitting the bear with a pole while others pulled Promratee to safety.
Interestingly, the Daily Mail reports that the day before this attack occurred, “the head abbot at the Wat Luang Phor Lamai temple said some of the creatures were ‘hungry’ because they were not being given enough food.”
Emergency crew responded and took the man to the hospital. Bpae Permpoonsap, from the Khon Khao Koo Pai rescue service, explained the incident, noting: “We received a report today of a bear attack at 11:10 a.m. The bear was among other creatures being raised by monks at the temple. The man had gone to the temple with four or five friends and he was toying with the bear.”
He continued, “It pulled him in and attacked him. We arrived and found the man injured seriously. He had been with his friends and wanted to feed the animals. He was lucky to survive and he is in hospital now and able to talk.”
Certainly, this could have ended very badly.
A PETA spokesperson told the Daily Mail: “If you taunt a hungry bear, you’re likely to get hurt. Bears are powerful predators who, in the wild, spend most of their time foraging and exploring home ranges that may cover thousands of miles – and smart people respect them enough to leave them alone.”
The spokesperson added: “They suffer immensely when they’re trapped in barren concrete pits, denied everything that’s natural and important to them and left with nothing to do but pace back and forth and beg for food, often slowly going out of their minds with frustration. While this man got away with his life, bears around the world will continue to live and die in misery as long as humans still incarcerate animals in the name of entertainment.”
Those who weighed in with comments on the story noted: “Well what do you know! A starving bear, teased by food, reacts by attacking his tormentor. Who’d have guessed!” and “Don’t poke the bear.”
Another person added: “The bears are starving and the monks admit that by asking the public to feed the bears. Why doesn’t the government take the bears and release them back into the wild or put them down. The bears are starving and this guy knew it and teased a bear by lowering a bowl of rice down to a bear and then pulling it quickly up so the bear could not get it. What kind of sick person does that? The whole country is sick. Let the bears go.”