Animal Attacks, or Human Invasion?

Who is really to blame?

Amanda Austin, Reporter

Throughout history, there have been thousands of accounts of wild animals attacks. From lions in Africa to bison is Yellowstone, the amount of people hospitalized may seem surprising. It is our natural impression to blame the animal, but what if it’s actually us who are doing the attacking? These creatures have lived separate from humans for thousands of years; now that we are moving in on their natural territory, are all these ‘maulings’ actually the result of a human invasion?

Imagine that you are a bison living in Yellowstone National Park. You are happily grazing one day when suddenly, a group of tourists come to take selfies. Loud and bustling, they gradually come closer as they become more brave. Feeling threatened and unsafe, you react in self defense, and you charge. In this scenario, who is the real victim?

In many attack cases, the animal feels threatened and insecure. In others, a dwindling food supply and expanding human development have forced it to hunt in cities and towns, where it again feels threatened. Furthermore, with the rise of global warming, many cold-weather species have expanded their normal territories to search desperately for food, often moving into human land.

In the end, these attacks have a common denominator: the animal is not to blame. It is human ignorance and gradual climate change that have resulted in these incidents. There are some simple rules to follow to prevent accidents such as these from occurring: Respect the animal’s space. Acknowledge that is is in fact wild, not tame. Most of all, use common sense, and make sure to share space with native creatures, who are just as scared of you as you are of them.