Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beware the least likely suspects

An important theme of this blog is that you shouldn't be fooled by cute animals.  I don't need to tell you to be cautious of, say, crocodiles. But here's something you probably didn't know:
Penguins are lethally efficient hunting machines
OK, you don't actually need to be afraid of penguins unless you're a fish. But if I asked you to imagine what would happen if you strapped a camera to a penguin, you'd probably picture something heartwarming, rather than this scene of carnage:
In more than 14 hours of film captured from 11 birds, not once did a penguin miss its target. Some marine creatures had no time to hide, while others tried to flee and failed.
Not as charming as you thought, right? Likewise, if you ever met a three-legged dog, you probably felt sorry for it, and impressed that it seemed so cheerful despite its handicap. You probably never expected it to be a repeat criminal, like the three-legged dog in New Zealand who was caught on security video stealing dog food.

Even after committing this crime, this dog had people feeling sorry for him - when he came back five days later, this time the owner's grandson actually bought the food for him. On the bright side, authorities have now got the culprit in the pound:
“We’ve had dealings with him before, he used to go visiting the young lady dog up the road,” he says. “We’re not too sure what his intentions were.”
But perhaps the most disturbing case I've collected recent shows that even an animal that isn't particularly cute or pathetic can make trouble by pretending to be:
Police forced their way into an apartment in Germany after hearing what they described as a "child-like voice" calling for its mother and father. Instead of an abandoned toddler, they found a cheerful and very talkative parrot.
The woman who called the police on Tuesday morning sounded worried. She said she had been trying for several days to speak to a neighbor but no one had answered the door when she knocked, even though she could hear children's voices inside.
Police dispatched to the flat in the western German town of Ibbenbüren heard a distinct child-like voice calling "Mama," "Papa" and "Mama Come." 
"Police measures were launched because it couldn't be ruled out that an accident had occurred," the police said in a statement. The officers called the landlord and summoned the fire brigade and an ambulance.
The tension increased until a fireman finally managed to open the door.
"To their surprise they only found a parrot in the apartment, a talkative Blue-fronted Amazon. The parrot was sitting happily in its cage and greeted the officers with the words 'Mama,' 'Papa' and 'Mama Come,' the statement said.

Heed the warning photographed by Flickr user 0olong.


  1. Great post come along and see me on my blog on

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.