Plague is remembered one of the most notorious disease triggered by a bacterium - Yersinia pestis; Europe was devastated in the middle ages due to the plague epidemic.
Eric's girl friend, Laurel Klein, overcome with grief over his premature death extolled his deep love for nature, in a funeral service. She told the gathering of Eric's admiration for Henry David Thoreau and his zest for life, living it exactly as he wanted.
Pneumonic plague completely destabilizes the respiratory system and the victim can die in a matter of a day or a week after the infection sets in.
According to a spokeswoman of the park, Eric had complained of symptoms resembling a flu on Oct 30th. Pneumonic plague mimics the initial symptoms of flu and can mask underlying serious respiratory problems, so typical of a plague, which takes a turn for the worse.
According to The Rev. Margaret Payne, bishop of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Eric always threw caution to the winds. He led a happy life without care and often endangered his life to care for the earth and its creatures.