Tails magazine presents...

Shark attack gives pause, but for how long?

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Human nature dictates caution when we’re scared, risk taking when we’re complacent.  For evidence of this, we need look no further than the recent fatal shark attack of a retired veterinarian surfer off the San Diego coast. The attack has temporarily made otherwise eager surfers and swimmers reluctant to enter the waters they would have enjoyed had not that one terrifying headline appeared in the newspaper and echoed through the evening news. For the moment, the freshness of the attack in our consciousness displaces its rarity. This past weekend, helicopters patrolled eight miles of San Diego coastline looking for the shark. Tragic as the fatal attack is, it is not, like the mechanical failure of an airplane, simply one of those freak accidents that no one could have anticipated. The ocean is the known habitat of predators that potentially see us as prey. We are not always at the top of the food chain, and this disturbs us. Our pursuit of fun makes us forgetful, though the statistics support our general carelessness. Risk taking, much as we hate to admit it, is our norm. Our thoughts are with the victim’s family. – Melissa Wiley


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