Last night on Discovery channel I watched a show called “In the Lion’s Den”, which featured a guy named Dave Salmoni who basically made the decision that he was going to get close to lions in the wild in the name of research. But really, I think what’s happening here is we are beginning to see the emergence of what I call the the “Jackass Gene”. All of the guys above most certainly have/had that gene, and 2 are dead right now.
You’d think that Johnny Knoxville and his cohorts would be the ones with the Jackass gene, but as it turns out their motives are purely about money. So much so, that they actually called it like it is by naming the show “Jackass”. They are trading thrills for money.
In the case of Steve Irwin, Dave Salmoni, and Timothy Treadwell… They they have convinced themselves that they “get it”, even though it’s pretty far from the truth. They are stubborn to the point of ignoring the people that this affects :
- Steve Irwin’s wife and children that must live without him now.
- Timothy Treadwell got his girlfriend mauled along with him.
- Dave Salmoni — at least he’s not married or dragging others in danger, but he’s glamourizing this type of behavior and undoubtedly will have part in awakening this gene in people who it lies dormant in.
As I was watching “In the Lion’s Den”, I kept asking myself “Why does he need to do this ?”. I was also hoping that the lions got him, so that it could add more evidence to the existence of this self-destructive Jackass Gene.
It’s very much an ego thing going on with all of these guys. They all seem to indicate “research” was the goal, but that was just a small factor to them in reality. It’s completely obvious to 99% of the population that this behavior is really not essential to any type of research other than how long you can get away with getting as close as you can to extremely dangerous animals. It doesn’t mean that we won’t watch it for the entertainment, but calling it research is a smokescreen.
Do we intend to live alongside the with lions, sharks, gators, or bears in the wild ? Is there something wrong with the line between man and animal habitat ? In our country, you can protect your home with deadly force. In the wild, that’s the unwritten law. Once you are on their turf, you are taking a risk. So if that isn’t a goal, why do we need to research being so close to them. It’s been made abundantly clear to the non-jackass gene people that trying to make wild animals more comfortable with our presence, doesn’t equate to them not killing us in the right situation. This goal cannot be achieved, and to try and do so is actually modifying their behavior to make them more deadly in that they will have more chances to kill humans and feel a bit more comfortable in doing so.
To make it worse, in the case of Timothy Treadwell…. The Bears he was claiming to protect ended up getting killed for killing him — something that was not criminal, just instinctive.
Dave Salmoni was putting those lions in the same danger. Had the lions attacked him, they would have been gunned down to save him. And why ? The lions are just doing what they do. Respect them and don’t give them options to secure their demise for doing something instinctive.