Saturday, 31 May 2008

the smaller the mammal, the more likely it'll kill you

Periodically in the news, we read how someone with a more than somewhat tenuous grip on reality climbed into the lion enclosure at London zoo carrying a Sainsbury’s medium frozen chicken or a kilo of steak as kitty-appetiser. The individual invariably gets his or her head ripped off, and the papers barrage the zoo spokesperson with questions about why there aren’t more deterrents to stop people climbing into lion enclosures. The spokesperson grits her teeth and explains “Seriously, dudes, we were more or less working under the assumption that the large predatory carnivores with big claws and teeth would be deterrent enough.”

This week, the WWF’s attempt to film the world’s rarest rhino in the wild hit a bump, when mummy rhino spotted the spy camera and charged it, smashing it into a million pieces. Wild animals don’t like us, and that is le fact, viz, the beard-stroky truth that a swan can break your arm and a wombat will snap your legs like a couple of toothpicks as soon as look at you.

Well, out-of-control wildlife violence is apparently no longer restricted to large exotic species. A report from the New Zealand Herald this week tells of another clearly well-adjusted lad who’s been fined 500 bucks for battering a teenager with a hedgehog.

It was a heroic kamikaze effort for the hedgehog involved. Police said it was unclear whether or not it was dead at the time of being lobbed through the air as a missile (though eyewitnesses report hearing a tiny voice squeaking “put some spin on me, bro’!” just prior to the attack). The NZ Herald’s online poll prompted by the incident asks: ‘Your Views: Is a Hedgehog a Weapon?’

Other reports include a snowshoe hare glassing someone in a Halifax bar “for looking at my boyfriend funny”, and an otter deadlegging a kid in the schoolyard for his lunch money.

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