Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bambi in the News......

In the article on "The Trouble With Bambi", by Ralph H. Lutts, that we have to read for Friday Lutt mentions a references to Bambi in the conflict about the deer population in Massachusetts and New England. This reference makes a lot of sense if you are from the Boston/New England area and have this issue constantly discussed in your local news. The above article has a reference to Bambi from the Boston globe that claims to be showing the "true nature" of the of Bambi, or deer. I mostly found this interesting because the image of Bambi as the cute, tame, creature has led people to believe they are nothing more that stuffed animals for us to pet, and then are shocked when they are injured. Our society's conception of animals is molded by cartoons, books, and zoos and the true nature of wild animals seems to have been lost. This only becomes a problem when there is an incident such as the tiger attack this winter in San Francisco. How do you successfully teach children to love and protect animals and still instill an amount of respect of their wild nature to protect both the animals and people? As "The Bambi Syndrome" points out our concept, as a society, of deer is often primarily shaped by the movie Bambi, but how much has it shaped out concept of all animals outside the hunting sphere, and our interaction with them?


Robert Gottlieb said...

Apparently, fewer Americans than I thought know about the damage that deer can cause. I searched The Herald Times, my local newspaper, and found an article printed two weeks ago about a deer that had made its way into a house in Parker City, IN, about two hours from where I live.

It says in part, "[T]he deer poked its head around a corner, ran to the rear of the house and banged its body against the walls of a bedroom. The animal, a doe, jumped on top of and over the bed, leaving splatters of blood on the carpet, the bed linens and the walls. The top and front side of the bedroom dresser were covered with the animal’s fur."

Deer have crashed through classrooms near my town. Sometimes they run straight into cars. About eight years ago I saw one miraculously run across one of the largest streets in my city without getting hit. I've seen deer in my neighborhood before. Organized deer hunts to keep the population down are fairly common. I also live in a college town (Bloomington), but I'm not aware of any deer problems at the university. Of course, every time a new development project starts the number of deer crossing the streets increases.

I found a Bambi reference in the same paper. The paper has a feature called Hotline, where readers can submit questions. One was about Lyme disease and dear. The headline for the question: "Is Bambi a weapon of mass destruction?"

Laura Martin said...

Good post & comment. There are quite a few researchers & graduate students in Nat Resources who study "human-wildlife conflict"-- you may be interested in looking at their work.