Well it just may be possible that human beings are not exactly the most intelligent creatures in the food chain. For years we’ve watched Stupid Pet Tricks on Letterman and endless amatuer footage of strange animal behaviour in homes and zoos; dogs chasing their tails, birds flying into windows. Perhaps the animals in the wild get together to watch blooper reels of us. They’d have plenty of material I’m sure…
…The cartoon image of wildlife may have prompted a 49-year-old South African woman in October to try to help a seal which she believed was stranded, allowing her 1-year-old grandchild to stroke the creature in the process.
The seal responded by biting off the woman’s nose.
…Then there was the South African robber who made the mistake last month of taking refuge in an enclosure which turned out to be home to a pair of unimpressed tigers.
He had fled into a nearby zoo after security guards heard the screams of a couple he had just mugged in Bloemfontein, about 400 km (250 miles) south-west of Johannesburg.
Unsurprisingly, he was mauled to death by the big cats.
The mugger was not the first South African criminal to err in hiding among zoo animals…
Max, a 200 kg (440 lb.) gorilla, won fame in 1997 after being wounded by a terrified gunman who jumped a moat into his space in Johannesburg’s zoo while fleeing police.
Max pinned the fugitive against the wall of his enclosure and guarded him even after being shot until police arrived, making him an instant folk hero in crime-ridden South Africa.
Other people don’t realise that you shouldn’t get between a mother and her offspring — especially when dealing with the world’s largest land mammal.
In April of this year, an elephant gored a tourist to death in a Ugandan national park after the man, carrying an 8-year-old boy in his arms, approached the animal’s calf.
…Lions mauled a South African teenager in March who came too close to their enclosure while trying to impress his girlfriend.
The sixteen-year-old, his girlfriend and his mother were having lunch with the lion keeper when he ignored advice and went off with his girlfriend to see the lions in the breeding section of the park just north of Johannesburg.
The boy went into an area off-limits to the public and touched a lion through the mesh fence.
The lion quickly sank its teeth into his arm and dragged him under the fence before the curator came, drove the four adult lions in the enclosure away and rescued the teenager.
The boy was luckier than a couple from Taiwan in 1993, who got out of their car to photograph lions up close at a South African game park — and who were quickly savaged to death by the beasts. [source]
I seriously wonder what it would be like to be a wild animal; that sense of looking in from the outside. Are human beings that stupid? Are we so superior that we should have actual places where we keep wild animals caged so we can look at them for amusement?
On the other side of the spectrum…
Police aren’t sure how else to explain it. But when an officer walked into an apartment Thursday night to answer a 911 call, an orange-and-tan striped cat was lying by a telephone on the living room floor. The cat’s owner, Gary Rosheisen, was on the ground near his bed having fallen out of his wheelchair.
Rosheisen said his cat, Tommy, must have hit the right buttons to call 911. [source]
I’m not a cat person but I’m begining to develop a new found respect for them.