A Chinese man posed for selfies with a walrus at a zoo, and after growing tired of being snapped, the walrus ended up killing the man.
The selfie, a term even five years ago would have caused upturned faces of confusion has permeated all levels of society. The Instagram generation can’t get enough of a posed self-portrait. A trip to Asia will show you that the selfie is now big business, with specialized selfie-sticks for sale on every street corner, a purpose built extension to help you get a better angle, or fit more people into the snap.
There is a lovely phrase, ‘hoist by your own petard’. It means you have tried to be clever and ended up looking silly. In news that sounds like something you might find on The Onion, a man from China has paid the price for the obsession of taking exotic selfies.
Reports suggest the man was visiting Yeshanko Wildlife Zoo, which is based in Liaoning province. He posed for a number of selfies with the walrus and even took videos, which he uploaded onto the popular Asian chat messenger service, WeChat. It seems however, the man overstayed his welcome, and the like a kid who has been told to smile for photos for over twenty minutes, the walrus grew tired of the incessant papping. Instead of sulking off, or pulling faces, he took a slightly more drastic course of action and grabbed the selfie-taking man from behind and tossed him into the pool.
It is unclear whether he was rendered unconscious by the throw, or simply could not swim, but tragically the man eventually drowned. The event was made even more terrible, as a zookeeper, who had worked with the walrus for over ten years, dove into the water in an attempt to rescue the man and ended up drowning as well.
The obvious question is what on earth the man was doing that close to a creature that has pretty significant tusks and can often weigh 4400 pounds? The zoo has accepted liability for the incident and paid significant compensation (around $137,000) to the man’s family.