May 09, 2007

Umm, hey folks?

Animals are not humans. I know we love them and all that, but they don't think like us. Especially Bengal tigers.

Bengal kills newest tiger at local zoo

[...] The head keeper told them to spray a hose, spray a fire extinguisher to try to get Rajah's attention. When she arrived, she started cracking a buggy whip in the air to snap into Rajah's consciousness.

Johnson, who hand-raised Rajah and Rani as cubs, yelled to him commands the Bengals normally follow. He didn't budge.

"When he thought she was dead he dropped her and then did what we had been telling him," [head zookeeper Cyndi] Johnson said.

Rajah walked away huffing and puffing and shivering, appearing in shock, she said. It seemed as though he had forgotten to breathe as he clenched Anastasia's throat, Johnson said. He sauntered into his night house as he had been commanded, drank from his trough and laid down next to it.

During the killing, Rani froze in a back corner with wide eyes, "almost mesmerized," [zoo director Patti] Hall said. [...] [emphasis mine]

Give it a rest, people. They are wild animals, and they do not have consciousness as we define it, do not suffer shock from suddenly realizing they've killed something, don't forget to breathe, and cannot be "mesmerized." I know it may look that way, but they can't. And this sort of cloying anthropomorphizing of wild animals is one of the reasons stuff like this happens. It's just fortunate that it wasn't a keeper. Or some doofus who decided to break into the cage because he wanted to pet the big pretty kitty. (Or the pretty giraffe, for that matter.)

Yeah, I know--I'm being a spoilsport again.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at May 9, 2007 12:27 PM