View Full Version : Hug a polar bear to remove depression.... NOT

04-13-2009, 05:03 PM
Teacher who survived polar bear mauling at zoo 'was depressed over job'
Zoo keepers who saved the life of a woman who jumped into a polar bear enclosure at Berlin Zoo revealed on Monday that they were moments away from shooting the animals.


Rifles had already been issued to marksmen and Heiner Kloes, a zoo spokesman, said: "This woman's behaviour not only put her life in danger but also that of the staff who had to rescue her.

"However, we do have guns and we would have been prepared to use them without hesitation if it was felt it was the only way to save the woman."

The zoo is planning to charge the woman with breach of the peace and bringing their organisation into disrepute.

The woman - named only as Mandy K - was mauled and bitten by the polar bears after climbing over safety walls and swimming out to meet them at feeding time. She was saved when zoo keepers pushed away one of the animals when it attacked her.

The keepers' bravery was praised after they dragged the 32-year-old German mother out of a moat for the animals. They had to shove the animal out of the way after one of four polar bears dived into the water and attacked her, inflicting serious bites to her legs and arms.

On Monday it emerged that she is a teacher who had been driven to despair by her failure to find a job.

Her former boyfriend - identified only as Lars, the Danish father of her seven-year-old daughter - said: "She loved caring for kids and really enjoyed all the special trips that she could arrange for them like going waterskiing in summer and swimming after school.

"It really affected her when she lost her job and she just couldn't see any future," he added.

The couple separated four years ago and share custody of their daughter, who was spending Easter with her father.

Mandy remains in intensive care at the Virchow Hospital, where she has severe bite wounds.

Doctors said that there is still a high risk of infection and she remains in a critical condition.

Lars said on Sunday: "She was supposed to be joining us today for an Easter egg hunt. I don't know what we will tell our daughter."

LINK (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/5148900/Teacher-who-survived-polar-bear-mauling-at-zoo-was-depressed-over-job.html)to story

Shoot the animals? Why kill the innocent? Shoot the damn idiot who jumped in there, and it would be fine in my book.

When 8 years old, I climbed the fence of the zoo in Iceland during seasonal close-down of the zoo. There were no people there, no zoo guards or others. I got over the fence and found myself on top of a building. Got down on all 4 and crawled to the edge of the flat roof. Peered over the edge and right below me were 2 polar bears. Within a second of my head appearing over the edge, one of the bears was up on it's back feet, lashing out at me with it's fore-paw claws slashing the air only 15-20 inches away from my face.

That's something I will never forget... I hurried back over the fence and was scared out of my skin. If I would ever find myself close to polar bears, I would hope to be well armed. Those are not cuddly animals, and should be regarded just as friendly as hungry crocodiles.