Monday, August 8, 2011

Don't count your cows before they are captured


It's been a summer of vastly different fates for animals on the run. Elephants that ran away from the circus went peacefully with police who nabbed them before they could catch a bus out of town. The majority of monkeys have eluded the authorities, with the minority being captured without harm.

But not all have gotten off so easily. An emu that was on the loose for two weeks in Maryland was shot by state troopers:
"We did it because residents had expressed concerns about their safety and the safety of their children... There also had been complaints that the emu was getting on roads, blocking traffic and causing hazards."

The same fate befell an escaped macaque in Tennessee who attacked a woman while she was washing her car:
"I had no idea he was even there. Then I could feel his teeth in the calf of my leg, and I really didn't know at that point what it was, I just knew I had to get it off me."

The monkey also injured a responding officer, at which point another shot and killed it.

For one animal in Germany, it could still go either way. Yvonne the cow escaped from a farm in Bavaria in May. She's been on the lam ever since, and become a sort of celebrity - but like with many reality stars, people are divided strongly for and against.

The police, who've failed to catch Yvonne all these months, have decided to authorize officers to shoot her. Apparently the last straw was when she jumped out in front of a police car, startling the officers and then despite being so close, getting away. (Authorities claim that such behavior proves she's a danger to traffic, but one has to wonder whether embarrassment is also a factor.)

On the other side, an animal sanctuary has actually purchased the cow, and is searching for her with all-terrain vehicles and infrared camera.

These people are such bunny-huggers that they would prefer not to use even tranquilizer darts - and instead, actually think it might work to appeal to sentiment. They've also purchased a former stall-mate of Yvonne's as well as that cow's calf and hope this will lure her in."After all, she has had a calf herself," says a representative with a bad case of maudlin anthropomorphism.

Yvonne might want to be aware of yet another recent escaped animal story as she considers her options: Back in July, a rhea escaped from an estate in Suffolk, England. The RSPCA was called in to expertly and humanely recapture it - after which the bird died while recovering from the tranquiliser.

So, even those well-meaning bunnyhuggers might end up not doing you any favors, Yvonne: maybe it would be best to give yourself up.

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