and in the wake of the croc hunter's death, i openly wonder why are we surprised when people are injured/killed by wild animals when that's what they do for a living?
first roy of siegfried & roy fame gets bitch-slapped by a white tiger, ending their longstanding vegas stint since 1972 of getting tigers to behave like well-trained house cats in front of bright lights and loads of gawking turistas. count 'em, that's 33 years of getting carnivorous, giant cats to not eat them while balancing on a ball and growling out "b-i-n-g-o". an impressive run that should shock us more than a white tiger turning roy's neck into a little debbie snack cake. roy is doing better, thank you very much, and now they run the secret garden and dolphin habitat in place of the scary tiger show. all the better for them, the chances that flipper is going to go au naturelle and rip off yer head are pretty low provided that you steer clear of sardine cologne. and serious issues in the secret garden probably amount to gardenias sprouting up where you expected cantaloupes, neither of which is going to maul you if you don't water them properly. think of what they're saving on life insurance! in their own words (and mine):
"Long ago, Roy and I realized that everything that happens to this planet is man's responsibility. Our responsibility," says Siegfried. "After living and working with some of the world's most magnificent [and occasionally unfriendly] creatures, we have felt the threat of their loss [not to mention the damage their molars can inflict]. So we felt compelled to create a safe environment [for us]– an environment in which these animals could live in serenity [where we won't have to dramatically imperil ourselves to amuse you] ," says Roy.and now the crocodile hunter, steve irwin. dear dear dear. this one is tragic and i will never look at another sting ray in the same way again. poor guy got impaled when the bugger stuck him with venemous barb right in the heart when he coasted over it while scuba diving in oz. he didn't harrass it any way, just was in the wrong place at the wrong time, startled the sting ray and it moved to defend itself by sending up its tail into the chest of the unsuspecting irwin. as a diver myself, i have to confess this is a little scary since he was supposedly just cruising the reef playing with the sponges (no reason to believe he wasn't).
an important factoid is that there have been only 17 recorded stingray deaths in Australia since 1969. rotten luck to say the least. nonethless, consider for a moment the number of things he'd done up until this point where the odds were very much in favor of something really bad [re: likely fatal] happening. the man made a living by taunting alligators, crocs, poisonous snakes, deadly spiders, etc. on video. not the type of thing that leads to longevity, right next to making yer 3 square meals a day out of snickers in a fry daddy.
so was mother nature playing a cruel joke on steve irwin or simply catching up with him for past debts like a bulldog collections agency? i haven't a clue. but what i do know, is that there is now one heckuva of a market for underwater kevlar jackets to repel sting ray barbs. if you know where i can score one, drop me a line.