Mandy the Polar Bear Lady: Suicide?

It is being suggested, according to this article (which was pointed to by this blogger), that the woman who leaped into the Berlin Zoo polar bear enclosure a couple of days ago was seeking her own death, having become depressed over her job situation. She was an out of work teacher.

It has also been revealed that during the incident, the Zoo staff had already broken out rifles and issued them to staff snipers, who were prepared to kill one or more polar bears.

I didn’t think they had out of work teachers in Germany.

Mandy remains in critical condition in hospital.

Flashback to an earlier Zoo Animal Eats Person story: Tatiana Is Telling us Something, and The Physics of Tatiana. And, while we are on the topic of bears: Cave Bears More Carnivorous Than Previously Thought.

Comments

  1. #1 Lorax
    April 15, 2009

    If you are going to off yourself, just fucking do it and dont dick around with drama. It pisses me off thinking this self-involved woman (who obviously needs some significant help) almost got a couple of rare animals offed in her bid to end her own life. Next time get a gun, it can even be a toy gun, and go threaten some cops.

    Actually, I take back my “obviously needs some help” comment. This person may not be interested in ending her life and more interested in drawing a great deal of attention to herself.

    Damnit, now Im all worked up. Someone should be fed to the bears…..oh wait…

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    April 15, 2009

    Well, there could be a place with bears and lions just for this purpose. Maybe a shark tank too.

    “Dr. Kevorkian’s Zoo”

  3. #3 CRM-114
    April 15, 2009

    Maybe there should be a special exhibit, “Meat the Lions”, with a one-way turnstile. That takes care of the suicides, and gives the big cats some amusement and fresh corn-fed meat.

  4. #4 Irene Delse
    April 15, 2009

    Suicide by Polar Bear! The thought crossed my mind when I first heard the news about that lady, but it’s still mind-boggling.

  5. #5 George Tirebiter
    April 15, 2009

    She may have been an out-of-work teacher due to her mental instability.

  6. #6 z42
    April 15, 2009

    As one who has put a lot of consideration into suicide, I can tell you that I would never want to experience being mauled to death. I could imagine someone wanting to feed the bears, but if it were me I’d shoot myself while leaning over the fence so that I’d be pretty much dead (and in shock) when they start eating me. I think that would also lower the chances of the bears being shot in an attempt to save the human, too. And it wasn’t a very effective way of killing herself, but I doubt she put much thought into the attempt.

  7. #7 Doyle
    April 15, 2009

    Lorax, please get a clue. People who are suicidally depressed are, pretty much by definition, not in a state of mind to make good decisions. Maybe you should grow a second brain cell to keep the one you have company, and try to avoid ranting about topics you know nothing about.

  8. #8 eNeMeE
    April 15, 2009

    If you are going to off yourself, just fucking do it and dont dick around with drama.

    People who are suicidal have left the realm of rationality.

    She may have gone to the zoo hoping to get cheered up and just lost it – become completely convinced, for no good reason, that getting killed by polar bears was an appropriate act.

  9. #9 D. C. Sessions
    April 15, 2009

    z42, if you do it right, suicide is painless.

    Go for the sedatives, and do it well out in the boonies where even transport time will do the trick. If possible, though, do the animals a favor and don’t encourage them to consider humans an acceptable dietary alternative. No good can come of it.

  10. #10 z42
    April 15, 2009

    The Manic Street Preachers do an ok cover of that song, but IIRC they leave out some of the better verses.

    My fear with pills is that I’d just vomit them up after I passed out. Statistically, guns have the highest sucess rate. If I shot myself in the head, even if I missed the vital parts, I’d certainly bleed to death within a reasonable amout of time. I had considered doing it in the woods during hunting season so no one would even worry about the gun shot, but it would be unfortutate for the local bears if they developed a taste for human meat.

  11. #11 GaryB, FCD
    April 15, 2009

    If you want to commit suicide, do not put anyone else in danger, make it look like an accident so your loved ones do not have to live under the cloud of having a suicide in the family, and be creative. As tough as it is, think about the consequences to others before yourself. It may just not be worth it.

    And yes, I am intimately familiar with clinical depression and thoughts of suicide.

  12. #12 Stephanie Z
    April 15, 2009

    “…the cloud of having a suicide in the family…”?!?

    Yes, much better for everyone to live in doubt, with questions that can’t even be asked, much less answered. Much better for Uncle Todd, who knew you were depressed, to have to keep secrets from Grandma on top of his own grief. Much better for others not to know that major depression runs in the family, so they assume they’re alone and uniquely defective when they have to deal with it. Much better to think about everyone else than to get selfish and get yourself some help.

    Bullshit.

    Gary, I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with that crap, but it’s clouding your thinking. Please go find someone who can help you gain some perspective.

    And yes, today is absolutely the wrong day for anyone to be pontificating about suicide in my presence.

  13. #13 lisa fleming
    April 16, 2009

    Some suicide attempts are fairly impulsive – I had a patient last year who, according to eyewitnesses, was just joggin down the street in jogging attire, and suddenly veered across the street and jumped headfirst into a wood-chipper – the guys running the equipment grabbed that person and pulled him/her out. This zoo story sounds to me like a spur of the moment act, not carefully thought out or planned. By the way, the person did survive, but couldn’t remember why they jumped into the chipper.

  14. #14 Greg Laden
    April 16, 2009

    Lorax, please get a clue. … Maybe you should grow a second brain cell

    I won’t say how, but I know Lorax personally, and I assure you he has more than two brain cells. In fact, around these parts, he’s one of those people we rely on to have extra brain cells to spare!

    I think there is some confusion here in this discussion. I the act of suicide is like blogging. People often say “bloggers should/should not do this, bloggers should/should not do that” as though blogging was a thing, when it is actually a medium, and different bloggers happen to be using this medium. Suicide is self-caused death that happens to not be an accident, but how it comes about is as diverse as human behavior. And like any complex act, it should not be stigmatized, but rather, understood. (Though it is often stigmatized but always to bad effect.) People who drink themselves to death and people who jump off of a building to death are sometimes doing the same thing, sometimes doing different things. And the person who ran into the wood chipper and later did not recall doing it or at least did not recall a reason for doing it was not doing the same thing as the person who obtains a firearm and shooting themselves in the head. In the woods. Or whatever.

    Suicide by cop or polar bear is a very violent and aggressive act, by the way. A person who does that may be just a little self-absorbed. Or has a specific beef with the cops or the polar bears.

  15. #15 rb
    April 16, 2009

    lorax needs to grow brain cells.

    anyone in your family commit or attempt suicide?
    anyone in your family struggle with serious mental health issues, bipolar, schizophrenia, severe depression?

    I don’t think you have enough brain cells, even if you have more than two and think you can spare a few. I think you need to activate a few. You are clearly a dick.

  16. #16 Stephanie Z
    April 16, 2009

    rb, yes, and anger over the consequences to others even as you know the person who created the consequences did so because of their diminished capacity is part of the difficulty of dealing with the whole thing. The anger is normal, not a lack of imagination. It’s also pretty normal to turn that anger against other people, because you don’t want to be mad at the person who is so obviously suffering, so I won’t tell you to piss off, this time.

  17. #17 GaryB, FCD
    April 16, 2009

    Stephanie Z: Where did I say to hide the depression? Where did I say to not seek help?

    In fact, putting others first does several things; It moves the focus from you to something outside yourself which helps reduce the depression, it may convince you to not take the simple way out and to get help, and it can convince you to put off the act, which in itself can help because depression has its ups and downs and even a short delay can see you in a better mood.

    I have no idea what’s going on in your life, but perhaps you should take your own advice.

  18. #18 Stephanie Z
    April 16, 2009

    Gary, you said to make it look like an accident. As suicide is a symptom of depression, hiding the suicide is hiding, at the very least, the severity of the depression. Your advice about thinking about the consequences is sound, to the extent that someone experiencing major depression is in any condition to do that. Your advice about committing suicide is not.

  19. #19 DoesNotMatter
    April 16, 2009

    Greg, CRM-114

    your first comments while funny are ill advised. Unless of course Greg is fine with some of the seedier parts of web coming to his blog on mistaken assumptions. Or trying to use it as a “see a scientist agrees with me” link.

    Because, let me tell you, there are artists making money catering to just those fantasies. *

    Now as to out of work teachers: Oh, we have plenty.
    See every few years the states (We’re a republic too) remember that they had a budget and thus hiring freeze in the education department. Much political hay is made and paper is wasted by papers decrying this situation.
    So every imbecilic moron who has a teachers license and still around gets hired and some are poached too.

    And several thousand more morons than usual decide that they gonna be a teacher that year.

    Two years later ? Surprise. Hiring freeze. Again. The good ones (And they are so rare there should forced breeding programs for them, if they were a species even the bush administration would have acklowledged them as “very endangered” to make an comparision you can grog.) will of course still get hired. The bad ones ? Get depressed and jump into a bear den or are hired when the “Oh shit we have no teachers think of the children”-cycle hits.

    *An imageboard without registration is great. Most of time. Those other times your therapist earns his second house.

  20. #20 roopal
    May 14, 2009

    Is it possible to die my inhaling LPG, leaving the cylinder open?

Current ye@r *