Saturday, February 15, 2014


Marias, a perfectly healthy giraffe born in a Danish zoo, despite his being offered a home in a park and another zoo has been put down by humane killer. The reason given was that the zoo has its full compliment of male giraffes and poor Marius’ DNA was of no use to them. Had he been born female he would still be swanning around gazing at the world with those enormous eyes, looking as pretty as a young giraffe can look. It was his misfortune to be born a male. It is the misfortune of many humans to be born, as they feel it, in the wrong sex and, although they don’t meet a fate as drastic and as final as Marius’, life can be pretty sickening at the hands of those ‘normal’ folk who don’t understand or sympathise. The same applies to the animal kingdom, both domesticated and wild. I have been regarding on You-tube the wonderful work of various animal protection societies, mainly in America: New York, Philadelphia, Houston, Miami, and on Face-book in South Africa and the images of treatment inflicted on defensive animals is sickening, sometimes cruelly deliberate, sometimes through sheer neglect and indifference, sometime through ignorance. The pictures and videos may show an animal from its rescue to a successful finale, sometimes not and there are those that in particular stay in the mind so vividly you wonder if you will ever forget them.
For example there was a photograph of fairly large nondescript dog being led on a leash down a corridor. He is looking up at his keeper in such a way that you just know his heart must be fluttering with hope. There are only two reasons as far as he knows that he has been let out of his cage; some kindly folk had finally adopted him or they are going for a run. He just does not know as he bounces along, tail wagging, gazing up at the man who has come to fetch him, that the corridor is for this moment his own death row. A video shows a girl kneeling on a sidewalk, making a fuss of a dog so skeletal you could literally see every bone. It could hardly take a step as it pathetically tried to wag its tail. “They have every right to hate us,” the girl said, but the fact is they don’t. Dogs that hate are like humans who hate –they are taught. Of course they can be as vicious as hell. You only have to watch a police dog in training to realise how fearsome they can be, and what damage they can cause. But it is still completely loyal to its trainer. On the other and you have sniffer dogs, dogs for the blind, dogs simply for sympathetic companionship. It all depends on how they are brought up.
So what has happened to the Sochi dogs? First story, a lady gathered together 146 dogs and penned them in order to protect them. Second story, a Russian billionaire joined in saying he remembered the puppy he had got from Sochi when he was a boy. Third story: the government has paid a large sum of money to a private firm to get rid of the dogs. They are being shot with poisoned darts and it takes an agonising hour to die. How many dogs are there? A figure of 7000 is mooted. CEO of the firm hired said,

“The dog is biological trash.” I think rather he should have said, “The dog is money in the bank.”

1 comment:

Lewis said...

Ah, Holy Mother Russia, home of the Gulag and the knout !