A Mudumalai Bear

Click on image to embiggen

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. That adage is known as Hanlon’s Razor.

I wondered about the mentality of the people who decided that disallowing photos at nature preserves is a great idea. Were they merely stupid or was something else motivating them? They have those signs at the Tiger Reserves at Bandipur and Mudumalai.

Note the “Rs 1000 fine for violation” line at the bottom. The guards at various check points collect bribes when they catch violators. Like me.

Anyhow, bad rules should be flouted. I took lots of pictures and videos. Here’s a video of a sloth bear at the side of the road through the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve last week Thursday. I estimated that it weighed about 150 kgs. We were careful to not get too close to it, and anyway we were in the car, and in case the bear decided to charge, we’d have driven off.

This is the closest I’ve been to a wild bear. Bears should be seen from a distance. They are unpredictable and mean.

Here’s a helpful sign from Canada’s British Columbia forest officials. Click on the image below to open it in a separate tab for easier reading. WARNING

Due to the frequency of human-bear encounters, the B.C. Fish and Wildlife Branch is advising hikers hunters, fishermen and any persons that use the out of doors in a recreational or work related function to take extra precautions while in the field.

We advise the outdoorsman to wear little noisy bells on clothing so as to give advance warning to any bears that might be close by so you don’t take them by surprise.

We also advise anyone using the out-of-doors to carry “Pepper Spray” with him in case of an encounter with a bear.

Outdoorsmen should also be on the watch for fresh bear activity, and be able to tell the difference between black bear feces and grizzly bear feces. Black bear feces is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear shit has bells in it and smells like pepper.

I once saw a grizzly at a distance in the Yellowstone National Park.

Anyway, I hear that the same sloth bear we saw had mauled a couple of people who had ventured close to it. One of them died by the time they were brought to a hospital. I assume they wanted to take selfies with the bear.

[Read the previous post on the Mudumalai Park.]

Author: Atanu Dey


2 thoughts on “A Mudumalai Bear”

  1. Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. That adage is known as Hanlon’s Razor.

    A related quote to Hanlon’s Razor that might interest you is – “Sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice.”

    It is a play on the third law of Arthur C. Clarke “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”


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