Jun 06 2016

Enough With The Gorilla Thing

I’m calling it – enough with the Gorilla story.

Enough With The Gorilla Story

What prompted me to write this? I suppose it’s because this is still a news story.

(Full disclosure: I sometimes write for The Daily Beast.)

Now: OF COURSE the parents won’t face charges! That would ridiculous. If for some reason the zoo didn’t have the proper fencing in place, that’s who would face charges. However, by all accounts that I’ve read, the zoo DID have the proper barriers up. Unfortunately, a small child got through them and landed in the gorilla’s area.

Here’s some video. It’s not that shocking but if you don’t want to see it for whatever reason, you’re not missing much, in part because half of it is blocked by a tree. But it doesn’t feature the gorilla getting shot, or the child being harmed.

Here’s Jack Hanna, animal expert, defending what the zoo had to do, which is kill the gorilla.

It’s sad that the gorilla, named Harambe, was killed. But what were they going to do? Let the kid get killed? The gorilla was dragging him around like a sack of potatoes.

By the way, this isn’t the first time a child has fallen into a gorilla habitat. I don’t think this particular gorilla was a Silverback, but that’s only because I don’t know stuff like that. (It appears to not be a Silverback because it doesn’t have a silver back, but I’m color blind, so who knows.) Here’s a video from — wait for it — 2015. You know, a year ago.

This incident worked out much better because EVERYONE was OK. Not saying the circumstances are the same. However, in the 2015 video above, you can see the barrier and in theory it should be enough. It wasn’t.

Oh look! Here’s another time a kid wound up in a gorilla habitat at a zoo. In 1996.

As Kimberly Harrington pointed out on Medium, “do accidents happen anymore? Especially when a kid is involved?” (That’s just a quote from the headline. The whole article is worth reading.) Kimberly posted a lot of memes/tweets that resulted from the Harambe incident, but these two really horrified me.

I mean… wow.

Here’s a quick quote from Ms. Harrington’s excellent article:

This is the perfect (shit) storm for the Internet, especially the American variety, because it involves: a) kids, b) animals, and c) parenting. All of the things that the Internet likes to flip its collective wig over. All of the things that allow the Monday morning quarterbacking to gush forth in a rage orgy. Someone needs to pay! She’s a woman? Let’s call her horrible names! This is our chance, Internet!

Yeah. That pretty much says it all. In 1996, maybe all the Prodigy and Compuserve chat rooms were aflame with enraged parents and animal rights activists digitally duking it out. But I sort of doubt it.

Bottom line: everyone needs to take a breath and calm down. Jack Hanna says the choice was between a human life and a gorilla life (paraphrasing here) and the zookeepers chose the child. It is absolutely sad. But there’s no excuse for the kind of vitriol shown above. You can see much more at the link below.

Me? I say enough. No más. It’s over, Johnny.

Except that these are the Interwebs. It’ll never be over. Well, maybe when something else shows up to outrage people.

See also: Hey America, do accidents happen anymore? Especially when a kid is involved? — Be Yourself — Medium

Sep 10 2013

Watch Hero Dogs of 9/11 On Animal Planet

Ah, the Twitter. It is many things. One of them is a distraction, of course. But out of distraction comes information. Sometimes information one didn’t even realize that one wanted to acquire.

For example: through a series of tweets, the good folks at Animal Planet alerted me to a show called “Hero Dogs of 9/11” that is airing tonight, September 10, 2013, at 8pm EST.


Aaaand here’s the video sneak peek. It has dogs in it.

Watch the whole thing tonight, 9/10/13, 8pm EST, on Animal Planet.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s something in my eye…


Aug 13 2013

Antibiotic Free Meat Is Free Of Antibiotics Unless It Isn’t

This story makes my head hurt.

From ABC/AP, an item about Chipotle Mexican Grill and how they are “considering tweaking its ‘responsibly raised’ meat standards to allow meat from animals that have been given antibiotics to treat illnesses.”

Apparently this was to clarify an earlier story. I don’t know exactly. Read it here if you want to.

This is the part that made me go “hmm.”

Quoting from ABC/AP:

The use of antibiotics to treat sick animals is considered acceptable by some health advocates, including the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is based in Washington, D.C. Sarah Klein, a senior attorney with the group, said the problem is when animals are fed antibiotics with food on a constant basis to promote growth or prevent disease, which could in turn lead to the growth of antibiotic resistant germs.

But Klein said the “Organic Meat” and “No Antibiotics Administered: USDA Verified” labels found in supermarkets mean the meat wasn’t treated with antibiotics, even if the animal was sick. She noted that there are other labels that aren’t verified by the government, such as “raised without antibiotics.”

“It may be true, but it’s not verified,” she said.

Let’s try that again. “It may be true, but it’s not verified.” Does that mean it’s true or untrue? I guess the answer is “perhaps.” Which doesn’t seem good enough.

If I could, I’d live on a farm. Until then I suppose we’ll take our chances.

via Chipotle Considering Change to Allow Antibiotics – ABC News.

May 09 2012

Bear Charges Into New Jersey Elementary School (Video)

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And now, here is video of a bear charging into an elementary school in New Jersey.

Quote of the moment from Ogdensburg Elementary School custodian Earl Hornyak, who chased the bear cub through the halls before it chowed down on some math books — “Then I see a bear, running down the hallway…”

Those amazing animals. All they want is an education.

Seriously though, this would be pretty freaky, right? A bear in your kids’ elementary school? And how not fun would it be to be the administrator who has to field calls from parents? Oy + vey = this.

Then again, maybe this isn’t an unusual event. According to the CBS News report, Ogdensburg is in “bear country” and the kids are taught how to handle the furry creatures; they even carry “bear horns.” A commenter on YouTube wrote, “I’m from Ogdensburg and don’t know anyone who carries a bear horn… lol just saying.” So who knows. Still, the community is clearly bear aware.

For some reason I find it amusing that the bear cub ate math books. I think this is a sign that I’m immature.

Glad everyone is OK.

610wiod.com via TheBlaze via WCBS-TV New York

Apr 17 2012

Cute Baby Giraffe At Bronx Zoo (Links)

Worthington Super Links

The Bronx Zoo has a new baby giraffe. Guess what? It’s really cute. Bet you didn’t see that coming. Also, we have links to other cute baby animals. Just because.

(h/t NBC New York and Babble Pets.)

Read more »

Aug 14 2008

Kangaroo vs Human

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Those wacky Australians.