When I was about 6 years old we made a trip to Yellowstone National Park (circa 1969). We came upon a traffic jam and there on the side of the road were two small bear cubs. Cars had stopped and kids were petting them as their smiling parents looked on and took pictures. My mom and dad didn't let me pet them and I was rather angry.
Petting bears has fallen out of favor since then. Hopefully things like the recent Siegfried and Roy event and this recent event are enough to remind people that human intellectual superiority only goes so far.
On a random but similar note, I'm told from reliable sources that more people are killed and injured by buffalo at Yellowstone than bears. Usually because people want to go pet the furry cows.
I take great comfort in the fact that even my youngest daughter could take either of my two dogs in a blood match if she had to.