Thursday, December 27, 2007

Surprised? Why?

It's not supposed to happen at the zoo, and regardless of what may have prompted it, this week's fatal attack by a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo is tragic.

However, there is a fact that apparently people overlook:
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, [zoo director Manuel Mollinedo] was asked about an incident last year, in which Tatiana chewed flesh off a keeper's arm during a public feeding demonstration. Mollinedo said that Tatiana "was acting like a normal tiger" at the time, and that the zoo modified procedures to increase safety.

This is same level of denial we hear all the time -- the mobilizing recruit who pleads that he didn't join the Army to fight, officials at failing schools who complain that they lose per-pupil funding when parents send their students to a more successful charter school nearby, unionized workers when labor costs prompt employers to move manufacturing overseas, homeowners whose houses on the beach, floodplain, or chapparel-covered hillside are consumed by natural disasters.

There are certain consequences built into the natural order and design of things, and we can't afford to lose sight of those facts as we construct our view of reality. It's irrelevant how we feel about it.

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