It’s the sort of thing that we always imagined was possible, but that we never really see: Animals turning rescuers the moment that they are set free.
Maybe we lull ourselves into imagining some false sense of gratitude that exists between us and wild animals. Sure, cats and dogs and other domesticated animals likely have the capacity for such sentiment, but wild animals are wired differently. They don’t see humans as a resource, rather, a threat.
Yet it’s still quite rare to see newly-released animals turning on their former captors.
That’s why the latest images out of Iraq are so stunning.
REPORTERS and police sprint for safety as a group of caged bears go on the attack moments after being released into the wild.
The chaotic scene was captured in these dramatic pictures of a wildlife conservation project in northern Iraq yesterday.
Six Syrian brown bears – some said to have been rescued from people’s homes – were taken from towns in the south to their new home in the Gara mountains.
Steel cages were lined up on a wall, surrounded by a large crowd of cameramen, armed security guards and onlookers.
Moments after the cages were opened, the panicking bears charged towards the crowd.
Terrified spectators were pictured running to escape the beasts as the release ceremony descended into chaos.
Additional angles of the chaos were to be found on social media.
A bear is released along five others during an event organized by Kurdish American Aid (KAA) on Gara Mountain in Duhok governorate.
— NRT English (@NRT_English) February 11, 2021
Well, that escalated quickly – People and security members run away as Kurdish animal rights activists release a bear into the wild after rescuing bears from captivity from homes, in Dohuk, Iraq February 11, 2021. REUTERS/Ari Jalal pic.twitter.com/et243SKDnG
— Matthew Brown (@SlydeWyde) February 11, 2021
It is unclear if anyone was seriously injured in the incident.