Monday, October 25, 2010

Humans behaving stupidly

In many of the stories on this blog, beneath an obvious tale of an animal behaving badly, there is a subtext: humans behaving stupidly about animals. Once in a while, it's only fair to bring that subtext to the fore.

In England, a woman feeding white bread to ducks in a part was chastised for not jumping on the whole foods bandwagon:

"Then a man in a fluorescent waistcoat who was holding a litter pick-up stick came over to me and said 'I know you mean well but giving them white bread is not good for them.'

“He said next time if I brought wholemeal, granary or bird seed that would be better for them.”

Elsewhere in England, police cleared the area and called for assistance when they saw a cobra coiled around the handlebars of a bicycle. As the snake expert who responded told the tale:
"I grabbed all the kit I would need to protect myself from a venomous snake, including a snake hook and my snake stick, which I need to grab snakes to stop them biting."

But when he arrived at the scene on Sunday lunchtime, the red-faced officers revealed it was a rubber toy.

A happy ending for all there, but in the Congo, herpetological ignorance and overreaction turned to tragedy when a crocodile escaped from a passenger's luggage:

The croc had been hidden in a passenger's sports bag - allegedly with plans to sell it - but it tore loose and ran amok, sparking panic.

A stampede of terrified passengers caused the small aircraft to lose balance and tip over in mid-air during an internal flight in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The unbalanced load caused the aircraft, on a routine flight from the capital, Kinshasa, to the regional airport at Bandundu, to go into a spin and crash into a house.

A lone survivor from the Let 410 plane told the astonishing tale to investigators.

Ironically the crocodile also survived the crash but was later killed with a machete by rescuers sifting through the wreckage.

Speaking as a former reptile-keeping professional, if you're ever in this situation, my advice: A crocodile that can fit in someone's hand luggage is WAY less likely to kill you than a plane crash. Please remain seated.

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