|The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes reluctant) readers.|
Fuzzy Fights Back
(2002) I was helping my brother move his collection of amusing newspaper clippings
from his days as a journalism major, when we came across one that's right
up your ally. Mr. Fritz Dekker, a 41-year-old visitor to an Amsterdam zoo,
found his way to the bear exhibit. A bystander remembers Fritz asking
whether the bear was s a male or female. Nobody knew, so Fritz Dekker
decided to find out for himself.
Fritz climbed over the 7-foot fence and jumped into the enclosure. Despite urgent calls from the crowd, Fritz approached the bear in question. The 390-pound adult was quietly occupied with a ball, and unaware of the intruder. Amazingly, Fritz was able to take an unintrusive peek under the hood. Still perplexed, Fritz tried to determine the animal's gender experimentally by delivering a good, hard kick between its legs.
Our friend Fuzzy turned out to be a male, and responded to the assult in a typical male bear fashion. He roared in pain, and charged towards Fritz, who attempted to defend himself with a hasty karate kick in the general direction of the bear while he ran for the fence. This brilliant defense tactic failed completely, and Fuzzy proceeded to occupy the next few minutes mauling Fritz "Bear Ball Buster" Dekker to death.
Zoo keepers arrived promptly, but not promptly enough to save the life of the ill-fated Fritz. Several rounds of tranquilizer darts later, the subdued bear was taken to the onsite veterinarian. Fritz was, of course, pronounced dead at the scene.
An autopsy shed no light on the reason for Fritz's actions. There were no drugs or alcohol in his system, and his family reported that he was not suicidal, nor did they know of any mental defects other than "an exaggerated sense of bravado."
Apart from a pair of badly swollen testicles, the bear was uninjured.
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Steve says, "I'm just another person with a pc, but I actually came across a citation of this story, on the net, some years ago. It wasn't for fun--I was on a very 'proper' site dealing with psychological matters. 2 I have the impression that this took place decades ago. It was certainly in Europe. They had all the proper source citations, official reports on this man's medical and mental background from his surviving relatives, etc. Seems he had absolutely no previous history. His actions remain a mystery. He just did much as is said. Climbed. Lifted. Looked. Kicked. Ran. Screamed. Died. However, I'm certain the bear wasn't mentioned as Fuzzy."
Leon says, "This story sounds quite strange to me. I'm from Holland, and I've never heard about this before, although I closely follow the news every day! Besides that, a websearch doesn't get any article about this person.
"Not only is this a stupid trick, but the fact that the animal is named 'Fuzzy' makes it quite unbelievable. In The Netherlands, zoo animals usually have very unique names.
"But most stunningly, the victim's name is revealed. Victims are not named in the Netherlands press, by policy, and suspects/convictees are only referred to by the first name and initial of the surname, e.g. Fritz D.
"I'm critical about this account, because it is stated to be taken from a newspaper. What date was on the article?"