Horatio Chapple: Killed By Global Warming, Eton And A Hungry Polar Bear
THE 17-year-old killed by a polar bear on Norway is Horatio Chapple. His face is on the cover of all the tabloids. Having already been told that he was a victim of global warming, the media now enlarges on young Chapple:
The Daily Mail leads with a key fact:
An Eton schoolboy sleeping in a tent was mauled to death by a polar bear yesterday.
He went to Eton College. Is that relevant? We are not told where the other victims went to school.
(Guardian writer Kia Abdullah has yet to smile on Twitter at the news of the death.)
Horatio Chapple, 17, was on a £4,000 adventure holiday on a remote glacier near the Arctic Circle.
Yesterday, the trip only cost £2,900. But that was before we knew Chapple went to Eton.
What else do we know of the victim? The Mail tell us:
Horatio Chapple, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, who had just finished his penultimate year at Eton, had hoped to study medicine at university. His grandfather was the former head of the British Army. Field Marshal Sir John Lyon Chapple, GCB, CBE served as Chief of the General Staff from 1989 to 1992 and was Governor of Gibraltar from 1993 to 1995. He is the president of BSES and went on one of its expeditions in the 1950s.
Grandpa is also:
Sir John is a Life Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (serving twice on Council); a Life Fellow of the Zoological Society of London since 1946 (President 1992); a Life Member and Vice President of Fauna and Flora International; Life Fellow of Linnaean Society of London; Vice President of the Conservation Foundation; Ambassador of the World Land Trust; Chairman of the UK Trust for Nature Conservation in Nepal (and was on the Main Board of the Trust in Nepal); formerly President British Schools Exploring Society and of Trekforce, and formerly Patron Coral Cay Conservation, as well as some 15 other conservation or natural history organisations including Galapagos, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and WWF Hong Kong. He served as Trustee of WWF-UK from 1988 – 1993.
What else do we know? Well, we get no word on the dead teenager’s parents. But The Sun has news of the attack:
Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple, 17, of Salisbury, Wilts, died after the beast clawed its way into his tent as he slept.
In the Mail that becomes:
Terry Flinders, from Jersey, said the bear burst into the tent where his 16-year-old son Patrick lay, killing Horatio next to him.
This site has an insight into the mind of the actual polar bear:
The starving animal killed Horatio Chapple, 17, as he slept…
Somone called AnyTheLawyer tells the Huffington Post:
“If you don’t want to be attacked by hungry polar bears, then don’t be bear food in a bear habitat.”
Terry Nutkins – “Animal Expert” – tells Sun readers:
THIS is a tragedy all round. No one wants to hear about the death of a child – nor a polar bear.
They are every parents worst nightmare:
Our thoughts are with the family of the boy. But it is important to remember that this is not the bear’s fault.
So. It was the boy’s fault?
They are opportunistic eaters whose territory in the Arctic is being eroded by global warming.
Horatio Chapple was killed by global warming. Fact!
If they are hungry they go looking for food – so they are inevitably drawn to human camps. These sites take precautions with trip wires and flares. But bears become accustomed to such things.
The bear is cunning and used to humans and their tents.
And if they are suddenly confronted by humans and get panicked or frightened they will lash out.
So. To recap: the bears are accustomed to humans – they look for humans food – and then when they see a human they panic. Well, so says the expert…
It takes only one swipe from their enormous paws to kill, never mind those teeth and powerful jaws. When we venture into their terrain, we do so at our own risk. But bears do not deliberately seek to kill humans.
Or as the Mail’s Tom Kelly puts it:
Polar bears are one of the few wild species which will actively hunt humans.
The Star reports:
A helicopter was scrambled to fly trip leaders Michael Reid, 26, and Andrew Ruck, 27, and schoolboys Patrick Flinders, 16, and Scott Smith, 17, to hospital. They were all last night “stable’’ with non-life threatening “moderate to serious’’ skin injuries. Experts said the bear targeted the group of 16 to 27-year-olds in a desperate search for food.
Or as the Express tells us:
Last night two of the casualties were described as having severe head injuries.
Such are the facts…