Rule No. 1: Never get too close to a bear in its enclosure. Rule No.2: Never tease a hungry beast by dangling food over its head.
Naiphum Promratee, 36, learnt these life lessons the hard way.
Promratee hung a bowl of rice into a bear’s enclosure while visiting a temple in rural Phetchabun province, Thailand. He leaned against a wall and started teasing the bear. Soon, the infuriated beast stood on its hind legs and dragged Promratee into its enclosure, knocking him unconscious before tearing off his flesh with its teeth.
“If you taunt a hungry bear, you’re likely to get hurt. Bears are powerful predators who, in the wild, spend most of their time foraging and exploring home ranges that may cover thousands of miles – and smart people respect them enough to leave them alone.
“They suffer immensely when they’re trapped in barren concrete pits, denied everything that’s natural and important to them and left with nothing to do but pace back and forth and beg for food, often slowly going out of their minds with frustration.
“While this man got away with his life, bears around the world will continue to live and die in misery as long as humans still incarcerate animals in the name of entertainment.”
According to The LAD Bible, Promratee had travelled to the region after monks issued an appeal for donations from members of the public to feed an array of animals they keep in enclosures.
The day before the bear mauled Promratee, the head abbot at the Wat Luang Phor Lamai temple claimed the creatures were ‘hungry’ because they were not being given enough food.
The Daily Mail reports:
“Horrifying footage showed spectators trying in vain to scare away the bear as he mauled Promratee. His friends hit the bear with poles and threw cold water at it, to no avail. The bear continued to bite and scratch Promratee for almost a minute before it started dragging him across the dusty enclosure. But one of the groups ran into the enclosure and battered the bear in its cage with a pole while friends rescued Naiphum.”
Emergency services arrived and rushed a severely injured Promratee to the hospital, where he is recovering. Khon Khao Koo Pai rescue service’s Bpae Permpoonsap told the media:
“We received a report today of a bear attack at 11.10am. The bear was among other creatures being raised by monks at the temple. The man had gone to the temple with four or five friends and he was toying with the bear.
“It pulled him in and attacked him. We arrived and found the man injured seriously. He had been with his friends and wanted to feed the animals. He was lucky to survive and he is in hospital now and able to talk.”