March 7, 2013

"Dianna really loved her six-month month internship at Cat Haven."

Says her father, relying on the old "died doing what she loved" cliché.
Dianna Hanson was volunteering at Cat Haven sanctuary in Dunlap when she was tragically attacked after getting into the male lion's cage.
Is that the right use of "tragically"?

IN THE COMMENTS: ByondPolitics said:
You didn't provide a [sic] in your title.

It’s possible that the word "tragedy" stems from the ritual sacrifice of goats. However, there is also evidence that the word arose because the chorus sounded like the song of goats — much like a current internet meme that matches popular songs to bleating goats. However, people aren't goats (which is precisely why the internet meme is funny and your ham-fisted question is not) and lions aren't known to perform acts to large numbers of fellow lions in order elucidate concepts regarding emotion. Therefore, the action at issue is not a reversal of whom was sacrificed but rather whatever action of hers led to her death. The nature of that action is unknown.

In any case, Aristotle seems a fair place to assess whether the performance of a deed merits the adverb and the answer is yes. The deed was important. It was complete. It had great magnitude. It evoked pity and fear. There is also substantial evidence that she used her acts during the internship to effect, in a broad audience, a relief from those emotions.

Ah. The question is reminiscent of ones asked daily in Freshman Comp. Good Times. Good Times.

A more interesting question is why you repeatedly make frigidly flippant remarks immediately after the deaths of warm and valuable young people whom were striving to effect positive change: David Foster Wallace, Aaron Swartz, and now this woman. It's disturbing.
Why? I aim to disturb. Why do you think you shouldn't be disturbed? Also, "whom were striving" is bad English. And speaking of women and "warm... young people," why did the warm young persons David Foster Wallace (is 46 young?) and Aaron Swartz hang themselves in such a way that their wife/girlfriend would discover their hanged bodies? Why are they considered "warm" when they did that? Are you more disturbed now?

As for women who get their sentimental feelings stimulated by consorting with lions... these people are stupid. Swartz and Wallace were extremely smart. Responsibility varies. Face reality. To call what I'm saying "frigidly flippant" is to let yourself off easy. You want to talk about gender politics?! Listen to yourself. You think I'm being shallow. Entertain the possibility that you are the shallow one... and that you are a sexist pig.

But thanks for the heads-up on "month month." That's funny.

83 comments:

Shanna said...

What else can you say?

I have a friend that was killed riding her bike a few months ago. It's such a cliche but sometimes it is really true.

bagoh20 said...

"Tragedy b: a serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force (as destiny) and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion."

Yep.

Tim said...

"Is that the right use of "tragically"?"

Of course not.

But since we aren't allowed, in polite society anymore to judge, the appropriate word, "stupidly," was more than likely not even considered.

edutcher said...

I think the words, "Darwin Award", apply.

Aren't you supposed to let the cat out of the bag, as it were?

JAL said...

It appears she was inside the enclosure when she should not have been? Or that the cat was in there and she thought it was not (locked up elsewhere)?

Tragic yes in that humans are prone to make really weird misjudgments / choices.

I find it amazing that more of us arent killed just as stupidly and unnecessarily in the day to day flow of life and death.

I remember a Psychology Today cover from many years ago. It pictured a person pushing a button, and in their head it showed them thinking / perceiving they were pushing the other, correct button.

For whatever reason -- ignorance or arrogance -- it was a sad and horrible end to someone's life.

Martha said...

A 24 year old Columbia Medical School student, Harvard '10, died Friday in an avalanche while ice climbing on Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

I am sure he died doing what he loved but that does not negate the loss of a young promising life and as a parent I hope my sons never behave so recklessly---i.e. stepping into a lion's cage OR ice climbing solo with no safeguards.

AprilApple said...

Big cats don't like to live inside cages. Even big cases. They go nuts.

This is how you do an Animal Sanctuary.

DADvocate said...

Is it females who get killed or maimed more often by deadly predators in cages? Several years ago, a female zookeeper at the Cincinnati zoo decided to feed a polar bear some grapes. It ate her arm. These aren't lovable Disney animals, folks.

Calypso Facto said...

Didn't you have a story yesterday about a woman killed by a lion while "doing what she loved"???

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

I rescue dogs nearly every day, mostly Pitt Bulls, and although I've handled hundreds of them, I've only had my skin broken one time in a minor and inadvertent bite. Cats scare the hell out me regardless of size. They don't really like us. That Lion was not hungry, and he lured her with cute purring hiding an evil intent. Never enter a cage or a home with a cat.

"Well, this is not a boat accident! And it wasn't any propeller; and it wasn't any coral reef; and it wasn't Jack the Ripper! It was a" ... kitty.

Patrick said...

died doing what she loved...

She died while being attacked by a lion. I don't think she loved that.

Patrick said...

The only time I was up close to a big cat was a tiger in a cage. It was some post circus sanctuary. the guy who ran it was nuts. He let the tigers share his bed. That's insane. When I went to see it there was this tiger in a cage with fences about 30 feet high. It was strong, and I had no doubt that the tiger could not get out. the bastard lunged at me, I was about 20' away. I still nearly soiled myself.

bagoh20 said...

I do understand the sentiment - I want to die doing something I love too, but I want to do it for a long time first.

harkin said...

Third generation Californian but I'd never heard of Dunlop. Even Google doesn't have it. Since I've been to Kings Cyn I must have driven through a few times.

Shanna said...

Cats scare the hell out me regardless of size. They don't really like us.

Sure they do. Sometimes they just like us so much they want to tear us to pieces.

(I love cats, but I would never have one bigger than a house cat. Even the nice ones bite.)

The Drill SGT said...

instead of tragicly, I would use 'stupidly' as in:

She stupidly got a lion killed by being terminally dumb.

Emil Blatz said...

We have two friendly, lazy 12 year old male cats here in the house. One weighs about 10 lbs the other a portly 13-14. On the rare occasions when you have to struggle with them (to place them in a transport crate in order to go to the vet, to administer a pill, etc.) you get the sense that, pound-for-pound, these would be very, very difficult to deal with if they were even 1/2 of a human's weight, let alone 3x.

Assumption of risk prevents the use of "tragic" here.

Ipso Fatso said...

Got 4 cats, they are all nuts and one is as big a small dog and tough as nails. There are people in my hood who won't walk their dogs in front of my house due to one of my cats who hates dogs. Go cats!!!!

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Avoidability makes it more tragic, not less. But I would say tragically killed rather than tragically attacked. Of course, the attack was tragic for the lion too, as a sheriff's deputy shot the lion.

Somewhere the lion is singing, "I mauled the intern, but I did not maul the deputy."

Coketown said...

Ann seemed far more sympathetic to Hugo Chavez than this girl. If only Dianna were a ruinous third-world despot and thug.

Which reminds me of this joke I read here:

"My friend died doing what he loved. Heroin."

And I noticed the "joke of the year" as report on that page was:

"I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."

Which is amusing but not terribly funny. Certainly not the funniest of the year. Which makes me think that when Americans laugh at British humor, we're laughing at something completely different than native Brits, and vice versa. There must be something about that joke that really just pierces the soul of British people.

rhhardin said...

Aristotle said that one who dies crushed by a column does not die a tragic death.

And yet here is that non-tragic death hanging over you.

(approx., after Philippe Sollers)

AllenS said...

I was an Army paratrooper and used to jump out of airplanes with a parachute on. I also had a reserve chute. Always have a back up plan.

Brian said...

Whether or not she "died doing what she loved" depends a great deal on the time resolution of "doing": on the day scale, maybe; on the minute scale, I'm guessing no.

JAL said...

I have a minature donkey. The most fabulous donkey, and my vet and farrier agree with me. He is affectionate and loves attention. But donkeys are actually predators. (Factoid for those who do not know.) And they are not dogs.

His face is inscrutible (unlike a horse's).

He is actually a guard donkey to protect the horses against coyotes, dogs, theft, etc.

I have had him mis-indentify me from a distance. I was wearing different coat an he turned and charged towards me with his head down. Body language not hard to read. A verbal call stopped him in his tracks. (At which point he did look silly guilty.)

But the truth is, my donkey could do serious damage to me or even kill me and although he has been raised 100% deomestically from a domestic herd. I have an awareness that there is something in there that could be dangerous simply because he has the predator gene.

A lion, even one bred and brought up in captivity is caged because they are not domesticated.

So yeah... I agree with the cat thing. I like cats, but whatever size they are, they aren't really domesticated.

I feel for the family, and also for the owner of the facility unless he is shown to be negligient. Somehow I think not.

Working with animals is dangerous. (Remember the killer whale / trainer death a couple years back?)

The Drill SGT said...

AllenS said...
I was an Army paratrooper and used to jump out of airplanes with a parachute on. I also had a reserve chute. Always have a back up plan.


The Military texts quote von Moltke the elder:

"no plan survives contact with the enemy"

General Franks described it as: "The enemy gets a vote"

me: "shit happens, have Plan B"

Tank said...

From the article:

"Killer Lion"

One of those words is redundant.

Ayn Rand: A is A
Lions are lions.

I love the big cats, but have no desire to be "in the cage" with them. Just being close and seeing them move, it's clear how fast, graceful and powerful they are.

I don't understand why all of these facilities where they keep large dangerous animals do not have powerful tranquilizer guns to handle these situations. Not to save the victim, it's all too fast for that in most cases, but to avoid killing the Lion for being a Lion.

Tank said...

Drill

And, Everyone has a plan until they get hit. Mike Tyson.

ByondPolitics said...

You didn't provide a [sic] in your title.

It’s possible that the word "tragedy" stems from the ritual sacrifice of goats. However, there is also evidence that the word arose because the chorus sounded like the song of goats — much like a current internet meme that matches popular songs to bleating goats. However, people aren't goats (which is precisely why the internet meme is funny and your ham-fisted question is not) and lions aren't known to perform acts to large numbers of fellow lions in order elucidate concepts regarding emotion. Therefore, the action at issue is not a reversal of whom was sacrificed but rather whatever action of hers led to her death. The nature of that action is unknown.


In any case, Aristotle seems a fair place to assess whether the performance of a deed merits the adverb and the answer is yes. The deed was important. It was complete. It had great magnitude. It evoked pity and fear. There is also substantial evidence that she used her acts during the internship to effect, in a broad audience, a relief from those emotions.

Ah. The question is reminiscent of ones asked daily in Freshman Comp. Good Times. Good Times.

A more interesting question is why you repeatedly make frigidly flippant remarks immediately after the deaths of warm and valuable young people whom were striving to effect positive change:David Foster Wallace, Aaron Swartz, and now this woman. It's disturbing.

Shanna said...

But donkeys are actually predators. (Factoid for those who do not know.)

This is interesting. My parents just bought a farm and got some sheep. Crazy neighborhood dogs (it's the country) were killing sheep and their neighbors told them to get donkeys. Well, the sheep are having babies right now and the little donkey (they have a mama and a baby who is a boy) attacked the lambs and killed one, seriously injured another.

I know nothing about donkeys and I dont' think my parents did either. I am passing this along.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

AllenS said...

I was an Army paratrooper and used to jump out of airplanes with a parachute on. I also had a reserve chute. Always have a back up plan.

For me, the first chute is the backup plan. The plan is to stay in the plane.

Shanna said...

I don't understand why all of these facilities where they keep large dangerous animals do not have powerful tranquilizer guns to handle these situations. Not to save the victim, it's all too fast for that in most cases, but to avoid killing the Lion for being a Lion.

My impression has been that they kill wild animals who attack/eat humans because they don't want them to get a taste for them. Which is why they hunt down bears and lions in the wild only when they have attacked people. The others weren't aren't a threat (except in a general sense) but if they start targeting humans specifically that is bad.

traditionalguy said...

Hadn't she ever seen an MGM's opening scene? She probably only saw DreamWorks' opening scene. That is tragic.

Michael said...

I never tire of these stories that shatter the myth that animals are really people or that good intentions and appropriate feelings are understood in the wild kingdom.

jimbino said...

A woman who regrets what she did last night is always "brutally raped."

Bob Boyd said...

Would the relatives of the African woman attacked by a lion during sex console themselves by saying she died doing what she loved?

CatherineM said...

Shanna - I wonder how true that is. I know they shoot them for that reason - even dogs - but I wonder if it's right.

A few years ago in Botswana a US or EU college student got too close to the Elephants and she was stomped crushed to death by one of the elephants. They didn't shoot the elephant because it was the human's fault.

Shanna said...

They didn't shoot the elephant because it was the human's fault.

I think stomping would be different from eating? I don't know if it's true or not, but I picked that idea up somewhere. It makes sense to me though.

William said...

Do lion maulings come in threes?....I can see how a cat lover could be so seduced. They''re beautiful animals and there's something about them that looks snuggly....I would never, ever be tempted to enter the alligator enclosure, but, with the big cats, there is that temptation.

Dave D said...

I may sound cold, but I don't understand why the lion had to die. They could have tranquilized it to keep it from eating the victim. We place thse wild creatures in unnatural situations then make them pay the price when we screw up. Dos I can see putting down, because their temperment is controlled by breeding, but we surely aren't trying to do this with big predators, are we?

Dave D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crunchy Frog said...

Note to Pevensie children: Aslan will eat your sorry little asses if you step out of line.

Christopher said...

My guess on shooting v. tranquilizing in this case--even if tranquilizers were avaialable--is sheer speed. Once they found the woman mauled, every second counted if they were to save her life.

That's the right call under the circumstances but sad nonetheless and obviously she never should have been in there.

Unknown said...

Calypso Facto, "Didn't you have a story yesterday about a woman killed by a lion while "doing what she loved"???"

Cake, taken.

EMD said...

In related news...

Nomennovum said...

"Tragically" is journalese for "inevitably."

Methadras said...

Hmmm, dying in my sleep now can be a cliche too? Maybe eating a cheeseburger with a corona can apply as well?

mikesixes said...

I don't know the circumstances here, and can't say anything regarding this specific case, but I can say this: People who want to work with these large dangerous animals need to be screened pretty carefully to make sure they haven't got a disneyfied view of animal behavior. When I was a kid I worked at a game farm where one of the workers got killed when he went into a cougar's cage to try to make friends. Big cats generally don't make good friends.

Christy said...

But donkeys are actually predators. A cousin surprised me by getting donkeys to manage the coyote problem on the farm. Now I know why.

The mauled girl's Dad said she was disappointed no one but the owner was allowed to feed and interact with that big cat. Darwin award winner. Tragic for the cat and cat owner.

Alex said...

bagoh is scared of little kitty cats. LOL

Synova said...

Whatever makes the father feel better, I suppose.

I hope they don't find a way to blame the owner of the place, if the rule was that she wasn't allowed in the pen.

Synova said...

(And yeah... I imagine most drunk drivers who kill themselves died "doing what they loved".)

ironrailsironweights said...

The lion was being a lion.

Peter

Nathan said...

I don't find this death particularly cathartic, no.

Pathetic, I suppose, would be a more accurate description.

Jeff Teal said...

Walked around a corner once at a close encounters type zoo to find myself at a distance of eighteen inches with BIG jaguar.I got that sinking stomach feeling.He looked at me like lunch.Cats,all cats are predators.The two we have have plenty of food and bring their prey home every day.Birds,lizards,snakes, and the oc

JAL said...

@ Shanna

The baby donkey killed the lamb? Or the mother ("jenny")? How awful.

One thing is that donkeys do like to play -- even though mine is 10-11 years old, he and the younger horse periodically "neck wrestle" and chase each other. That is why someone gave him to me, is that he needed someone to play with.

I suppose it is possible that the donkey tried to "play" with the lamb. And the stomp, kick, and bite mode kicked in.

The main use for guard donkeys around here is with cattle. The calves are at risk of being killed by coyotes, and the donkey(s) is the preventative. I haven't heard of donkeys harming calves, and it could be that calves (and their cow moms) are bigger?

Have to do some homework here. (Fortunately do not have sheep or goats.)

JAL said...

Hey Shanna --

Here are some links re donkeys and sheep. Note that it says one place to watch them during lambing -- at least until one has a take on how the donkeys behave.

But using donkeys with sheep is not uncommon. One of our goat guys around here (he has a rent-a-goat business) uses Great Pyranees dogs ... but I think it would be easier just to have another grazing animal in the field, logistically.

The Drill SGT said...

Big cats generally don't make good friends.

Cats don't usually make good friends. Having had several over 30 years. a house cat can decide to bapp you with its paw or naw on your hand. annoying, but survivable.

scaled up by a factor of 30+, not so much. So the lion allows you to pet him 90% of the time, don't do it to many times or the laws of probability will catch up with you...

Amartel said...

This lion situation is really getting out of hand.


I'm not going to pile on this poor dead kid. Will be disappointed, but not surprised, if the parents sue.

David said...

The first article I read about this story featured the notion that they were puzzled as to why a lion attacked someone who entered its cage.

furious_a said...

I'd say "ironically" is more apt than "tragically", since the young lady took the gig to help the big cats, not become a snack for them.

MarkD said...

So, we had the guy killed by the great white shark - off NZ if I remember right, and the next day there's a picture of this stunning blonde swimming with the sharks off Oahu, saying how they're misunderstood, blah blah blah. Then there's a picture of the coast of Florida with thousands of sharks swimming around.

I wouldn't go in the water. I'm not a blonde.

Joe said...

Unless suffering extreme agony is what she loved, I doubt she died doing what she loved.

rcocean said...

So a women dies in a a 1-in-10,000 incident and she's "STUPID". Wow, talk about heartless. This isn't a "I'll go hug a Grizzly Bear and we'll be friends" situation. The women was just feeding/taking care of a Lion. And got killed.

I suppose if she died of boredom at a Bob Dylan concert that would be a "tragedy".

ampersand said...

Is predator the right word for Donkey,or are they just territorial?

Someone check on Jeff Teal , he stopped in mid sentence I fear his two housecats decided to shut him up for good.

F said...

William asked: "Do lion maulings come in threes?" Not if the first one is successful.

Nomennovum said...

"Tragic" is just another 21st century synonym for "bad" ... like, "fascist," "racist," or "Republican."

Big Mike said...

I hope Cat Haven is reviewing its procedures to very that the attack would not have occurred had proper procedures been followed.

If they weren't followed in this case, then the young woman encompassed her own death.

That said, I can't help but note that an awful lot of the Gen X and Millennial women seem to have this quaint notion that if they love someone or something, then it must necessarily love them back. That includes "bad boys" for sure, and, apparently, 350 pound lions.

Carol said...

"Tragedy" is misfortune befalling the protagonist due to his own hubris. Like think you're pals with a lion and nothing bad will happen, because you're so good with it.

So yeah I'd say it's tragic.

Synova said...

"frigidly flippant remarks immediately after the deaths of warm and valuable young people whom were striving to effect positive change:"

I'm sort of wondering where "striving to effect positive change" is relevant. Saving a baby from a burning house is "positive change". A number of jobs that are dangerous involve "positive change" and people do them despite the danger. But what part of this young person's pointless death had anything to do with "striving to effect positive change?"

What she accomplished, beyond dying, was getting a lion killed for her sins.

In my opinion, it's no less tragic if a young person's death-by-stupidity is driving drunk or bungie jumping or kneeling in front of a bulldozer or getting in a cage with a cute, cuddly, lion. It's a senseless end to a life full of promise.

bagoh20 said...

I just heard on the news that they determined that she was cleaning the main pen, and mistakenly believed the lion was secure in another pen. She was not mauled, and had few injuries, and was apparently killed instantly with a broken neck.

Mnemosyne's Notebook said...

My daughter and I have visited the Sierra Cat Haven several times. The staff members were always insistent upon visitors waiting at the visitor center and not going anywhere near the cages without a guide, and only as part of a tour. It is hard to imagine they would be any less safety-oriented with the training they would give their volunteers.

We'll have to see what an investigation discovers - but I'm concerned that this foolish young woman's terrible error might close down a place that has some beautiful wild cats.

bagoh20 said...

Everyone jumps to the conclusion that she went in to pet a lion. That is probably the least likely scenario for such a thing.

sojerofgod said...

Jal said, "One of our goat guys around here (he has a rent-a-goat business)" Exactly what does one do with a "rental goat"? No, wait, i don't wanna know...

Ann Althouse said...

"I just heard on the news that they determined that she was cleaning the main pen, and mistakenly believed the lion was secure in another pen. She was not mauled, and had few injuries, and was apparently killed instantly with a broken neck."

Doesn't that sound exactly like the PR the place would want to put out?

Ann Althouse said...

It shouldn't have been possible to mistakenly believe the lions were secure somewhere else.

There should be procedures ensuring that no mistake could ever be made.

Petunia said...

She was also apparently talking on her cell phone when she was attacked. I wonder, if she hadn't been distracted by the phone, might she have heard odd sounds from the lion's cage as he worked to open it, and had time to escape?

Mnemosyne's Notebook said...

I hope the report is correct, since their website reads"

Do you ever feed the cats live prey?

No, captive cats do not have the skills needed to kill things. They would probably play with the prey until it dies and that is not a humane thing to do to prey animals. Also the prey animal could hurt the cat; ie a rabbit could scratch a cat’s eye. This reinforces the fact that captive born cats cannot return back to the wild because of the lack of training. We use many forms of enrichment for play time and stimulation. Boxes, scents, animal hide, fruits and vegetables are just a few examples. At time we feed whole food ( mice, chicks etc.)."

David said...

Chicks?

bagoh20 said...

"Doesn't that sound exactly like the PR the place would want to put out?"


I would think the opposite. This mistake makes the facility liable for her death rather than her just doing something crazy. It suggests that the lions are not really well secured. That's what known as bad PR.

MayBee said...

.It shouldn't have been possible to mistakenly believe the lions were secure somewhere else.

There should be procedures ensuring that no mistake could ever be made.


Not possible.

Paco Wové said...

"It's disturbing."

And yet, here you are. Obviously not too disturbed. Honestly, I'll bet you're a teeny bit grateful that Althouse gave you another excuse to fling some poo.

Shanna said...

The baby donkey killed the lamb?

Yes. It was very sad. They have tried to separate the lambs when they are babies but I don't know what happened. Like I said, my parents are pretty new to this whole thing.