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Posts Tagged ‘animals in captivity’

Here in the top secret offices of The Curmudgeon, we are constantly on the lookout for spies.  I am particularly suspicious of bugs, expecting them to be little robotic creatures equipped with cameras and recording equipment.  This is just the type of corporate espionage some of our competitors would engage in, such as the site All Stupid Things and Important Stuff Ignored.  Naturally, countries are known for spying on another, for example, Pakistan and India.

To support this accusation, India has arrested a spy from Pakistan.  Or so they say.  The spy is being held under armed guard. No one is allowed to visit the prisoner, being held in an air-conditioned room (bloody nice of them – with the heat in India and all), and probably kept in a cell.  More like a cage, really.  Appropriate, because the spy is a pigeon.

The pigeon was found by a local resident with a ring around it’s foot and a Pakistani phone number and address stamped on his body.  The Pigeon carried a message, though no note has been found.  Local pigeon fanciers said that Pakistani pigeons are easily identifiable as they look different from Indian ones.  Maybe the pigeon speaks Urdu instead of Hindi. In any case, senior officers are taking it seriously and have ordered they be updated 3 times a day.  So far, the updates say, “Pigeon still won’t talk. Just that incessant cooing.”

What I can’t comprehend is how the pigeon could go back to Pakistan and report his findings?  Unless, of course another spy – a human one – would tie another message to it to be delivered.  But that’s ridiculous.  India is a free society, with cell phones and the Internet and everything.  Surely there are better ways to communicate with Pakistan?

I’ll say this though. Things are getting desperate when a country uses carrier pigeons for spying.  I thought that went out with World War II.  But it’s not so strange to think about spying Pigeons. Iran arrested two pigeons they said were spying on a nuclear facility just in October, 2008. We all know how logical and sensible Iran is. Naturally, they accused the United States, and believe the bands around the pigeons feet are actually communication devices.  Ah ha!  Now we’re getting somewhere. Although they can’t figure out how they work, Iran is sure the bands somehow communicate with the U.S.  Sound familiar?

Very close to robotic spying bugs. Stranger things have happened.

(Some information for this story came from Breitbart.com and the London Daily Mail.)

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Photo by limowreck666 on flickr

Here in The Crusty Curmudgeon World Headquarters we are very animal rights conscious.  That is not to say we are PETA-like, with insane tendencies, but concerned about wildlife just the same.  I don’t know how I feel about zoos.  Many will argue that zoos are the only way to guarantee a species survives.  The truth is, the wild sucks too, thanks to man, who cuts it down, pollutes it, and kills its inhabitants.  Either way, man is to blame.  Which brings me to killer whales in captivity and the tragic death of a trainer this week.

Killed was Dawn Brancheau, 40, whale trainer at Sea World in Orlando.  The attack was in front of a large audience, and by all accounts, was horrible and dramatic.

One witness, Victoria Biniak, said she saw the whole thing from the audience area.

“The trainer was explaining different things about the whale and then the trainer that was down there walked away from the window. Then Telly (the whale) took off really fast in the tank and he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing (her) around. He was thrashing her around pretty good. It was violent.”  She went on to say it was violent enough to cause the trainer’s shoe to fly off.

Apparantly the whale, named Tilikum, or Telly for short, doesn’t usually have a trainer in its tank because it is too large, being a 30-year old, 12,000 pound bull orca.

Nancy Black, a whale expert—you know the type—said the whale incident may have been an accident and the whale only playing.  “They are very intelligent creatures. They have emotions, and feelings. Maybe it was unhappy in the situation, maybe it was bored,” Black said.

Yeah…or maybe it was a KILLER WHALE.

It’s not like Telly, or Tilikum (remember that name),  hadn’t shown a propensity for violence previously.

In 1991, a trainer at Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia, was killed. Three whales were blamed for the killing.  One was Tilikum.

In 1999, a South Carolina man somehow got into a whale tank at SeaWorld Orlando after park hours and drowned. He was found with bite marks below the waste.  A forensic investigation found the bite was administered by Tilikum.

Also in 1999, a man’s body was found mysteriously draped over a killer whale’s body.  The whale? Tilikum.  An autopsy ruled that he died of hypothermia, but authorities said it appeared Tilikum bit the man and tore off his swimming trunks.

Notice how people keep mysteriously winding up in Tilikum’s tank?  I think he gets out of the tank and goes to get them.  I’m not a fancy animal trainer, and I’m no Whale Whisperer, but it seems to me Tilikum doesn’t like living in captivity.

And what about that name?  Tilikum?

Just rearrange the letters a bit.

Ti-kil-im.

(This story was first reported by Internet Broadcasting Systems and ClickOrlando.com, to which The Associated Press also contributed.)

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