That was some beer festival

You know you've been overdoing the alcohol when you find yourself naked and half-eaten by bears.

A 23-year old Serb was found dead and half-eaten in the bear cage of Belgrade Zoo at the weekend during the annual beer festival.

The man was found naked, with his clothes lying intact inside the cage. Two adult bears, Masha and Misha, had dragged the body to their feeding corner and reacted angrily when keepers tried to recover it.

I do hope nothing happens to the bears. It's not their fault that they were offered a succulent meal, and took it.

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Crap, I know Misha and Masha. They are very nice bears. I have no idea who the young man was, though, but the walls around Belgrade Zoo are in places far too easy to scale from the outside (I know, I did it a few times myself when I was a teeenager, but onto the sidewalk, not into a cage).

I do hope nothing happens to the bears.

I think you're right to be concerned; people do stupid things here and then the bear (sometimes even the wrong one) gets killed over it, so people can be seen to be doing something.

But it sounds like the zoo director's got the right take on it; I hope that's how it will play out:

"Only an idiot would jump into the bear cage"

"Only an idiot would jump into the bear cage"

Oh, to live in the land of the non-sanitized public statement.

Well said, others. I loved that response by the zoo director. Imagine if it was here in America. Beer distributors would be calling for his oust, he would be pegged as a victim, and the ignorant would be calling for the bears' deaths. How ridiculous we have become.

Succulent and marinated.

By Melissa G (not verified) on 20 Aug 2007 #permalink

I guess all that beer went to the idiot's soul. ;)

By Steve LaBonne (not verified) on 20 Aug 2007 #permalink

"Hey Boo-Boo, this ain't a pic-a-nic basket, but it sure is tasty!"
"But Yogi, the ranger's not gonna like it ..."

By Foobarski (not verified) on 20 Aug 2007 #permalink

The Belrade Zoo Director has always been a very outspoken public figure, well politically connected, somewhat controversial (involved allegedly in some illegal international animal trade) and widely popular.

What jumped out at me was the line, "The man was found naked, with his clothes lying intact inside the cage." [ital. mine]

After he jumped into the bears' lair, he disrobed before getting up-close-and-personal, because ... ???
... he thought that if he was naked the bears would accept him as one of their own?
... he was wearing a red shirt, and thought that, like bulls, the red might enrage the bears?
... he was trying to commit "suicide-by-bear", but didn't want the bears to get sick by eating polyester?

The mind boggles ...

By Foobarski (not verified) on 20 Aug 2007 #permalink

Maybe he thought he could sneak up on the bear and date rape it.

I think there's a typo in the title. Here- I'll fix it for you:

"That was some bear festival"

You're welcome.

By shpx.ohfu (not verified) on 20 Aug 2007 #permalink

Oh, like none of you have ever drank too much and woken the next day to find the person you've slept with looks a lot more, er, ursine than they did the night before.

It could totally happen to anyone at the end of their third year of their anthropology degree after a Jägermeister-drinking competition against some engineers who--for all their big talk--didn't know shit about labour issues in the maquiladoras along the US-Mexico border and needed to be taken down a peg. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Foo, how else would he be, except bear naked?

After he jumped into the bears' lair, he disrobed before getting up-close-and-personal, because ... ???
... he thought that if he was naked the bears would accept him as one of their own?
... he was wearing a red shirt, and thought that, like bulls, the red might enrage the bears?
... he was trying to commit "suicide-by-bear", but didn't want the bears to get sick by eating polyester?
The mind boggles ...

He thought he was in Wisconsin...

I've read a few stories like this, and typically, it seems the animals are not found at fault. They don't usually seem to kill zoo animals over the occasional attack.

As much as anything, I think the reasoning is: Okay, maybe they now have a taste for human flesh, but it's not like they'll have the chance to roam around indulging it. They're ALREADY in a cage, no need to protect innocent bystanders from them.

If anything, the story will elicit more laughs than horror, on the theory that anybody stupid enough to climb into a cage full of teeth, claws and appetite probably deserves what he gets. And rather than being afraid of the bears, zoo-goers will probably find them MORE interesting now.

He didn't have to be a total idiot, just a really drunk guy with some popular beliefs about the Benevolent State of Nature picked up from his culture wandering around in the background of an impaired reasoning system.

I have trouble thinking this is funny. I guess I keep imagining it happening to someone I might have known. People do some really stupid things when drunk, and then luck is on their side -- they wake up the next morning and it becomes one of those great stories. He probably had some hazy idea that it would be funny, and "they're more afraid of us than we are of them."

Ah, his poor mom.

As a follow-up, the bears then got drunk off of the guy, ripped off their fur, and hopped in the lions' den where they were subsequently eaten. Stay tuned for continuing domino effect.

Still...I'd rather have 'Eaten by Bears' on my epitaph than 'Died in an old folks home, alone, senile, and with a prostate the size of a basketball'

Just because it's another weird animal story:

Pet Camel Kills Australian Woman
AP
2007-08-19
(Aug. 19) - An Australian woman was killed by a pet camel given to her as a 60th birthday present, police said Sunday. The woman, whose name has not been released, was killed Saturday at her family sheep and cattle ranch near Mitchell, 350 miles west of the Queensland state capital Brisbane, state police Detective Senior Constable Craig Gregory said. The 10-month-old male - weighing about 330 pounds - had knocked her to the ground then lay on top of her in what police suspect was mating behavior, Gregory said. Camel expert Chris Hill agreed with Gregory. Hill, who has offered camel rides to tourists for 20 years, said young camels are not aggressive but can be dangerous if treated as pets without discipline. The woman was given the hand-reared camel in March as a birthday present from her husband and daughter. The fate of the camel is not known. An autopsy of the woman will determine the precise cause of death within days.

dkew (#21), do you think the camel reacted that way to a possible camel toe?

60-year old camel toe...that's just as disturbing as Ann Coulter and John McCain doing it bareback...okay, maybe not...

Now the bears can sell the cell-phones on e-bay.

Who knows, if this clown hadn't gotten himself eaten by the bears--I hope there was no indigestion--he might have gotten into car and killed someone.

Foobarski, my guess would be that he disrobed to better slip between the bars of the bear cage, but without seeing what the zoo enclosure actually looked like, that's simply speculation on my part.

By H. Humbert (not verified) on 20 Aug 2007 #permalink

"Crap, I know Misha and Masha. They are very nice bears."

Actually, many of us were worried that the naked drunk was actually a blogger named Coturnix...

They baited bears for centuries in Euasia. Pay back is a bitch.

I thought it was interesting that cell phoneS, plural, were found in the cage, as well as rocks and bricks. I wonder if his friends were standing there watching, trying to distract the bears by throwing things. What a memory to carry...

First he tried the iguanas' cage, but that was too hot.
Then he tried the penguins' cage, but that was too cold.
Then he tried the bears' cage, and that was just right . . .

By Scrofulum (not verified) on 20 Aug 2007 #permalink

"Crap, I know Misha and Masha. They are very nice bears."

Actually, many of us were worried that the naked drunk was actually a blogger named Coturnix...

Hey, I did not say I knew them in a Biblical way....

And, this is the source of the whole mix-up. The guy's English was not that good, you see....

BTW, the name Vuk (the Director's name) menas 'wolf' so this may have something to do with the Forest Wild Beast Union.

The guy quite possibly had emotional problems or mental illness of some sort. Not the bears' fault, but still nothing to laugh at or gloat over either.

PZ commented that he hoped nothing happened to the bears.

When I started as a volunteer at the zoo, I was told about an incident years before when a couple of guys snuck into the zoo late one night and one of them climbed into the lion exhibit. The lion did what lions do. A few nights later the guy's buddy came back with a gun and killed the lion. Revenge.

People do really weird things -- even in daylight. Some hang their little kids over the wolf or tiger exhibit wall. ("No way I'd ever drop 'em. No way.") A staff member once rounded the corner and found a woman perched on a ladder that was used to access the moat around the old-fashioned tiger cage. She had her hand through the bars and was petting the male tiger. (She was lucky it wasn't the female, who wasn't such a pussy cat.) Her excuse was that there was no sign saying she shouldn't do that. The zoo subsequently had to install metal covers on all the exhibit ladders at a reported $400 a pop.

I do hope nothing happens to the bears. It's not their fault that they were offered a succulent meal, and took it.

Succulent, yes -- and marinated too...

Sorry, had to be said.

My Pappy never saw fit to tangle with a bear with anything less than a loaded sidearm and at least a couple or three hounds. Now I know why.

Jomega, your pappy was a brave man. I know a guy who hunts feral pigs with three hounds to find them and chase them, three Staffordshire terriers as backup, a rifle for the kill, and a shotgun and a .38 snub as a last ditch backup. I suggested that he use a lance as Natasha did in War and Peace. I sent him a scan pf the relevant pages and I think he's considering it as a way to conserve ammo. Last I heard he was cutting down ash saplings. So pappy's brave to take on a bear with less.

Of course I think the best solution to the Houston area's feral pig problem is to reintroduce the jaguar

"Now, where's that Bosnian woman I'm supposed to wrestle?"

Hmm... Which verse of "The Hedgehog Song" covered bears?

-- CV

By CortxVortx (not verified) on 21 Aug 2007 #permalink

Here's a copy of the article from Australia's Courier Mail if anyone is interested:

"Mystery surrounds zoo death of naked man
(August 21, 2007)

BELGRADE: A Serbian man was found dead -- his body half-eaten -- in the bear cage of Belgrade Zoo during last weekend's annual beer festival.

Police said the 23-year-old man was found naked, with his clothes lying intact inside the cage. Two adult bears -- Masha and Misha -- had apparently dragged the body to their feeding corner. They reportedly reacted angrily when keepers tried to recover the body.

''There's a good chance he was drunk or drugged. Only an idiot would jump into the bear cage,'' the zoo's director, Vuk Bojovic, told reporters yesterday. Local media have reported that investigating police found several mobile telephones inside the bear cage, as well as bricks, stones and beer cans."

By Jim Witte (not verified) on 28 May 2008 #permalink