Bear Malice

Fear that we're going to end up eaten or brutalized by a creature of a lower order plays a part in a number of urban legends about animals. In the back of our minds lurks the realization that we could end up some brute's dinner or that the streak of wildness which runs through even domesticated creatures could suddenly surface, turning trusted companion or docile farm animal into rampaging beast. We live among them, we dominate them, but we don't trust them.

Adding to that sense of unease is our awareness that the wild kingdom carries on its everyday business only steps from where we live, work, and play. Untamed creatures often invisibly co-exist with humans in urban spaces, and even bustling centers of humanity prove no bar to beasts of all descriptions.

These legends remind us to stay alert and to exercise proper levels of caution when dealing with all manner of animals or when intruding upon the habitat of wild creatures.

Red bullet Elephant kills zookeeper by defecating on him.

Red bullet Seeing eye dog named Lucky causes the deaths of four of his owners.

White bullet Stunned animal dressed up for a photo gains revenge on his tormentors.

Red bullet Palm Beach golfer devoured by large crocodile.*

Green bullet Abused goat kills its owner.*

White bullet Photo opportunity involving a bear and a honey-smeared child goes horribly wrong.

White bullet Turtle who carries scorpion across river learns fatal lesson about innate nature.

Red bullet Child mauled by shark his uncle had fighting on a line for two hours.

Red bullet Man is killed by an elephant he mistakes for one he aided years earlier.

Red bullet A megalodon capsized a South African fishing vessel in April 2013.

Red bullet The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has issued a polar bear warning.