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Bad Week for Our Four-legged Friends

1:39 PM, January 3, 2008 .. 0 comments .. Link

It's been a bad week for animals.  As the granddaughter of both dairy and cattle farmers, I'm the last to jump on the PETA bandwagon, but sometimes the injustices of not giving nature it's arms-length respect, and then punishing the wild animals for acting - well - wild seems ill-placed.  Teenagers taunting a tiger now sue the San Francisco zoo because the tiger mauled them.  The tiger was killed before it could "attack" any others. Further south in the same state, a robber jumps over the bridge - but not before throwing the police dog over the railing with him. Ironically, the robber survives but the dog is killed. And the top videoblog is a Colombian bullfighter surviving what is described as an "intense attack" by the bull. 

All in a day's news reporting or proof positive that Darwin was onto something? You tell me.  In an honest world, would the tiger come ahead as the unspoken hero, the dog survive the plunge and any provoked attack by a bull be considered "intense"?  A childhood trip to a bullfight in Toledo, Mexico was my first eye-opening experience with lop-sided Romanesque animal contests and public spectacles:  fun music, lively people and a bright hued south of the border evening horizon eclipsing the ampitheatear backdrop set the stage for a  night of childhood wonderment. There was an electricity in the seats; a Disney meets supersonic sense of wonderment dizzied the air.  The bull marches proudly into the arena. Having watched the episode of Bugs Bunnny parading around the arena with golden strewn crimson cape flying round his shoulder, I anxiously await the next stage:  the Matador. But the next stage wasn't the matador, it was the yahoos on horseback that ride out to dig spires of poisoned spears into the beastly bull's back to weaken him. Only after this part of the show - far reaching from the spires of my silver bells and cockel shells cartoon based understanding of events - does the big brave matador enter the ring.  I don't want to see folks get hurt, but I gotta tell ya':  I was rooting for the bull.   

Maybe in some alternative animal universe, our four-legged friends are having a well earned laugh at the expense of the supposedly higher lifeform. After all, other headlines over the past two days announce that grad students at Purdue are sniffin' poo for $30 a pop, they're drudging a lake in Illinois to find an Indian woman that supposedly fell in while submerging a statue for good luck, and a 75 year-old Arizona man was hurt riding his pet buffalo.  Florida gators attack handfuls of humans annually that toss them scraps while barbecuing dinner, and I suspect that just as many dolphins that are rescuing people by lugging 'em from shipwreck to shore are having fun with a few others that they decide to take even further into the ocean blue.  While domestic animals (dogs, pets, ferrets, what have you) are held to a more realistic modicum of civilized behavior, seeing and experiencing wild animals that are harboured in habitats foreign to them and yet where their animal instincts are relatively uncurtailed is a privilege; one that requires a little more due diligence as members of the general public. 

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