Zip lines are posing as a major attraction while also causing major issues. Forest rangers are considering the potential grizzly bear lure that can be caused by those simply enjoying the ride, and a zip line can land its rider into a physical life change.
Aimee Copeland, 24, of Georgia, was on an adventure with her friends when their homemade rope zip line snapped, as reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – and she fell and cut her leg. Now the young woman is facing the possibility of losing more limbs after her leg already had to be amputated due to an infection called necrotizing fasciitis. Doctors assume that flesh-eating bacteria called Aeromonas hydrophila may have leaked into the gash from water.
Copeland’s capillaries have shut down and, “it appears that because of the combination of the bacteria and medication she’s taking, we'll probably have to remove her hands from her wrist, as well as her foot. It's something we'll have to get over, but it's something we're going to miss,” Andy Copeland, Copeland’s father said.
While the injury could have actually been fatal, Copeland is currently in critical condition, and slowly recovering. The Copelands encourage donating blood and raising awareness, especially for this type of condition.
On a lighter note, the Sleeping Giant zip line to be featured at Shoshone National Forest of Wyoming, is gaining a substantial amount of support. However, some remain skeptical of the zip line proposal.
Forest rangers are concerned about the dangers that may arise by a zip line rider’s pant pockets in the summer. The rangers strive to prevent North Fork grizzly bear cameos, by warning visitors away from carrying food in their pockets while riding the zip line.
“I don’t want a candy bar falling out of a rider’s pocket, so a bear can come along that night and get that food reward,” North Zone District Ranger Terry Root said.
Chuck Neal, a nature buff who previously worked with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services is unsupportive of the zip line project, and believes an increased number of human visitors can disturb the North Fork grizzly bear population.
A larger human population could chase grizzly bears away, when the main objective of the zip line is to give visitors a leisurely tour of the Shoshone National Forest.
If the project follows through, the Sleeping Giant zip line is planned to be open between June 15th and Sept. 15th.