Shark attacks.

KLS52

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My first thought upon reading this was over-fishing and a quick google search came up with the same. How horrible for that poor man and his family. :(

~ Another question - but again, lacking sufficient data to answer it - is the impact on shark behaviour from overfishing and from global warming, which affects ocean temperatures and currents.
"We know that these animals are opportunistic and they go to where food sources are available, and those resources do move, and they are dependent on currents, nutrient-rich patches," says David. "It's not just sharks that do this; all large pelagic predators are drawn to areas where there is high food availability. But whether this is a case of increased human activity is unclear."
Marine biologists say there is little research into the causes of shark attacks, but point to several possibilities, all linked to human activities. The first is simply the growth in mobility, with cheap air travel and package vacations enabling people to swim, snorkel, surf or dive in places that previously had little human presence.
"The growth in shark attack numbers does not necessarily mean that there is an increase in the rate of shark attacks," says ISAF. "Rather it is most likely reflective of the ever-increasing amount of time spent in the sea by humans, which increases the odds of interaction between sharks and people."~

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/are-humans-to-blame-for-shark-attacks.htm
 
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led.boots

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As a longtime Shark Week fan, therefore instant expert, ;) it is my understanding that sharks do not like the taste of humans, and are not attracted to human blood the way they are to that of sea creatures. Humans get attacked by Great Whites most often when they are paddling a surfboard, looking like a slow sea lion from below. Shark attacks are so rare, I think it is just that humans have a deep fear of giant fast scary predators with knifey teeth, so it is big news.
 
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Digger

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Although I dislike when sharks are killed after the fact out of some sort of vengeance, I do understand the compulsion to do so. Like every other animal on the planet we defend ourselves from those who would do us harm whether intentional or not. You only need to get near a Grizzly cub and expect to be mauled to death by its mom, yet somehow humans aren't permitted to defend ourselves in turn.
 
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Ansciess

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Although I dislike when sharks are killed after the fact out of some sort of vengeance, I do understand the compulsion to do so. Like every other animal on the planet we defend ourselves from those who would do us harm whether intentional or not. You only need to get near a Grizzly cub and expect to be mauled to death by its mom, yet somehow humans aren't permitted to defend ourselves in turn.

The "somehow" is because humans are generally encroaching on territory where these other animals must live. The sharks can ONLY live in the sea. The bear attacks only happen when humans are in the wilderness where the bears live. It is humans who travel into others' territories, and then get upset when the inhabitants there act like wild animals. Sharks and bears aren't generally coming into people's living rooms and attacking them, although people regularly go into sharks' and bears' living rooms and hunt them.
 
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Digger

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I'm not looking to start a controversy here, and I understand what you are saying, but why is it that humans are always considered to be 'encroaching' upon other animals? Did we not as animals ourselves evolve on the same planet as all other living creatures? Exactly where are we permitted to live where we are not encroaching on other animals' habitats? And why is this considered to be unnatural?
 

Ansciess

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The question astounds me a little. It's as though humans haven't already encroached upon most environments. The more realistic question is exactly where are other animals permitted to live where they don't have to deal with humans? Humans have so much land, cities...but they always want to keep building into the more remote areas and pushing animals onto smaller and smaller parcels to survive, and many aren't. It's not like some equality of space - humans are taking most of it - especially the desirable areas where food and water and climate are favorable - and managing to pollute and change the environments of those areas that they don't even inhabit.

Extinction of top predators
http://www.fastcoexist.com/1678282/humanitys-biggest-impact-may-be-the-extinction-of-predators

In the US
Approximately 107,500,000 acres (435,000 km2) are designated as wilderness in the United States. This accounts for 4.82% of the country's total land area; however, 54% of that amount is found in Alaska (recreation and development in Alaskan wilderness is often less restrictive), while only 2.58% of the lower continental United States is designated as wilderness.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilderness
 
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Ansciess

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Examples of wildlife displaced by spreading urbanization abound. The California gnatcatcher, once common to southern California's coastal sage scrub, may wind up no more than the object of a taxidermist's pride in a museum display case. Florida's sprawl has put a death grip on the Florida panther, now thought to number only a few dozen individuals in the wild. And Las Vegas, one of the nation's fastest-growing cities, has pushed the desert tortoise to the brink of extinction.

Meanwhile, the species able to adapt to the human landscape--raccoons, deer, crows, and geese--proliferate in newly settled areas. These animals get labeled as nuisance species and are often harassed, trapped and relocated, poisoned, or shot.

The most recent natural-resources inventory report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture states that real-estate development in this country grew to 2.2 million acres a year between 1992 and 1997. That's more than 6,000 acres a day, or 250 acres an hour, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The simple equation is that more people on more land equals less wildlife habitat--with more species on the verge of extinction and increasing conflicts between humans and wildlife.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FRO/is_2_134/ai_73623673/

It's not as though humans are being displaced by bears or panthers.
 
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Digger

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I understand what you are saying. Humans = bad and all other animals = good. Humans are an anomaly and were never meant to be here.
 
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Francesca_Bee

Francesca_Bee

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I pretty much agree with Ansciess so...... there's no point repeating the same thing.

Humans are pretty much a pest in my opinion. And do invade everywhere and anywhere they can. Hell they're even building in the sea. And then onto space where else will we go. Make like a freaking mole?

And animals are usually respectful of each others territories and stay well clear, unlike us.

I don't see why a shark should be killed for doing what comes natural. Of course I am sorry for the loss of life and sorry for the families loss. But there had been prior attacks in that same area, he should have known better and was well aware of the risk he was taking.
 
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Digger

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I do apologize if my viewpoint was taken the wrong way, however I take deference to the idea that humans are a pestilence on the planet and we should all just off ourselves to relieve our burden on the planet. We're animals after all, and we're just doing what comes naturally to us, just as any other animal on the planet does.
 

Ansciess

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We're animals after all, and we're just doing what comes naturally to us, just as any other animal on the planet does.

What we're doing right now is making life difficult to impossible for billions of other animals on the planet by insisting that we should get to be in every other creature's habitat, push them off if we feel like it, and that it's o.k. for us to affect areas we don't even inhabit. I think there's a big responsibility that comes along with the knowledge and capacity to so drastically affect more than one's own local ecosystem.

If doing what comes naturally means using our choice and intellect decimate other species and throw a fit when they try to defend one of the few territories that they have left - well I don't think the "hey I'm just doing what comes naturally!" excuse works any better there than it does for racism, starting wars of aggression, rape, you name it.
 
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Digger

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What we're doing right now is making life difficult to impossible for billions of other animals on the planet by insisting that we should get to be in every other creature's habitat, push them off if we feel like it, and that it's o.k. for us to affect areas we don't even inhabit. I think there's a big responsibility that comes along with the knowledge and capacity to so drastically affect more than one's own local ecosystem.
I agree, but that's not the situation I thought I was addressing in my initial post, that humans instinctively will defend their territory just as any other animal does. That there are so many more of us doesn't necessarily negate that. But at any rate we're obviously not on the same side of the fence on this one and I don't really want to cause any hurt feelings so I'll simply withdraw at this point.
 

Ansciess

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I agree, but that's not the situation I thought I was addressing in my initial post, that humans instinctively will defend their territory just as any other animal does. That there are so many more of us doesn't necessarily negate that. But at any rate we're obviously not on the same side of the fence on this one and I don't really want to cause any hurt feelings so I'll simply withdraw at this point.

Just so you know, it doesn't hurt my feelings if someone disagrees with me, as long as it doesn't get personal :)

On the other point, I hold humans to a higher standard than just breeding, taking over territory, taking whatever we want, aggressing against others because we want something they have... Even with other humans we hold ourselves to a higher standard (even if we often violate it). With the power and supposed intellect that humans have, there is more responsibility. If these wild animals were other people, there would be outcry against us for going into their living rooms, killing them for fun or food, and then indignantly going after them when they act in self defense against our actions. Even when humans are the supposed victims in wild animal attacks, it was generally preceded by a territory violation on our part. You say "humans will defend their territory," but that's with the assumption that ALL territory is human territory - because when we're talking about wild animals like sharks and bears, I would say the territory in which humans are getting attacked is more theirs than ours, because we've already taken way more than our share.
 

K-II

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Although I dislike when sharks are killed after the fact out of some sort of vengeance, I do understand the compulsion to do so. Like every other animal on the planet we defend ourselves from those who would do us harm whether intentional or not. You only need to get near a Grizzly cub and expect to be mauled to death by its mom, yet somehow humans aren't permitted to defend ourselves in turn.

I don't think many people would be opposed to actually defending yourself from an attacking shark. Since iirc they don't intentionally seek out humans over other available prey, killing a shark that ate someone probably doesn't even make us any safer. It's a bit hazier with other animals; for some hunting humans is a learned behaviour, and once they've figured it out they tend to repeat it. This is the case with bears I believe, so it makes more sense in that case to track one down and kill it if it has killed a person.

I don't know how accurate it is, but I've heard that leopards are one of the only (or even the only) land predators that will naturally just consider humans potential prey if it encounters any. Not really relevant but interesting.