Saddened That A San Diego Man Died In Bear Attack – Denali National Park
I am so saddened upon hearing about a San Diego man who was mauled to death by a bear in Denali Park, Alaska on August 24, 2012. Richard White loved being around nature, and was intent on taking pictures, and subsequently paid for it with his own life. The story grieves me because the man is from my area (San Diego); he was relatively young – only 49, and he was married and a father to a 21 month old baby girl – who will now grow up without her father. Nobody deserves to be mauled to death, it is simply horrifying to think what Richard must have gone through.
I think the story hits close to my heart because I understand what it’s like to be fascinated with bears and what it’s like to want to take pictures of them, and get close up to them. I somehow can understand Richard White’s need to be close to the bears and to continue taking pictures, even though it was not the right choice.
This is the picture that I got by putting my camera through the bar (I certainly would not recommend doing this to anyone else) and taking the photo:
These are the pictures that you are supposed to get when you don’t put your camera through the bars – you get the fence in the picture.
When I was in the bus at Denali National Park, and saw the Grizzly Bear, I hoped and prayed that they would let us out of the bus, just so that I could get better pictures, but there’s a reason they don’t do that.
This is the picture that I got while I was in the bus:
When the bear started coming towards the bus, that must have been why the bus driver decided to take off
I realize the dangers of bears more acutely now, and somehow can’t help thinking….that could have been me. Just remember when you go to Denali, pay heed to the training, and to what the park wardens tell you. Pay attention to the signs, and better still – don’t go on your own or be thoroughly engrossed in picture taking that you forget the dangers lurking around you.
I am very sorry for what happened to Richard, and my condolences go out to all those who knew him, especially to his family, wife, baby, and his friends. May you rest in peace, Richard.
These are some articles that you can read about Richard White, the San Diego man who lost his life in Denali:
My previous post of Wildlife Pictures Taken In Alaska can be viewed here: https://luchanik.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/wild-life-pictures-taken-in-alaska/
At 6 minutes and 22 seconds into this movie that I made and until 7 minutes and 19 seconds or so, you will see the Grizzly Bear in action in Denali Park, moving around stealthily while rummaging around, probably searching for food.
That’s very sad. We observed same thing at Yellowstone National Park. people get so busy taking pics of wildlife that they forget how in danger they are going close to them.
It is indeed incredibly sad. Our love of animals and our desire to photograph them can easily lead to tragic consequences, as was Richard’s case. Sometimes, tragedies such as this can reinforce the real need to be more careful. Thank you so much for your comment.
Very sad indeed. In Finland we have bears also in the nature, but generally speaking they are not dangerous. During last 100 years one human being has been killed by a bear. Most of bears are situated on Eastern areas. Occasionally there are instructions how to behave if one sees bear.
It is indeed very sad Matti, that this tragedy occurred. It is good that education, training and/or procedures have been put into place so that people will know what to do or not to do around bears. I, just like you, love bears, and sometimes it is so difficult, even with all the procedures and reminders, put into place to remember that bears can be dangerous (I think it might be all the cuddly animals that make us think the real thing is just a big version of a toy). It is when a tragedy like this happens that we can learn from it that there was someone else just like us who also thought he would be okay, and sadly was not. Thank you so much for commenting on my post, and I hope you have a terrific day and weekend.