Wild animals are wild, and it doesn't matter how adorable they are. Few people understand what a wild animal can do to a human being until it's provoked.
Whether they are wolves, tigers, lions or elephants, you should respect their beauty and awe at a distance.
As the tourist trend of coming in contact with the wild grows, some people can't understand the meaning of signs stating, "Beware, don't feed the animals, don't provoke the animals and don't pet the animals."
Years ago in Kruger National Park, South Africa, a Japanese tourist got out of her jeep during a safari to pet a lion. Tragically, she was mauled to death.
A lion cannot be treated like a kitten. Such animals are extremely dangerous and are natural-born hunters.
I learned this lesson early on while visiting Yellowstone National Park in the US. The signs clearly state that no matter what, you should never leave your vehicle. The park has dozens of wild animals. The most dangerous are the ones that stalk their prey like wolves, bears, pumas and mountain lions. I did what I was told. I stayed in my car, rolled-up the window, took my pictures and then quietly left.
My vacation was great and I have never had a tragedy in North America or Africa because I did not test the waters.
There have been two cases of tiger attacks in China recently. The first was when a lady decided to get out of her vehicle during a safari, and she was caught by a tiger and killed. Her mother tried to intervene and was also mauled, but survived. The other person was a man scaling a wall into an animal sanctuary so that he wouldn't have to pay the entrance fee; he was also killed by a tiger.
As sad as these two tragedies are, now the families want to sue. How can you sue over a person's stupidity in not following the rules? Ignorance is not an excuse once you have been warned.
On top of that, the animals had to be put down immediately. This results in a double tragedy with the loss of both a human and animal life.
As a conservationist, I suggest people follow the rules of the park. Parks implement guides and rules to teach you how to conduct yourself inside a premises full of wild animals.
This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.