Highway Giraffe Dies

Africa. Horrible. So stupid. The poor animal.

SPCA: Highway giraffe has died

JOHANNESBURG – The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) on Thursday confirmed one of the giraffe which was transported on the highway in Centurion has died.

The SPCA’s Rick Allan said, “All we can ascertain at this stage is severe head trauma. We are continuing our investigation with the view to possibly lay criminal charges against those responsible.”

Eyewitnesses earlier said they saw one giraffe knock its head as the truck drove under a bridge.

The animals were then stuck at the back of a truck on the freeway.

This after the vehicle they were being transported in broke down.

Just a few kilometers down the highway, another truck carrying cattle also broke down when it lost a tyre.

Allan says SPCA officials are attending to the 400 cattle at the Lynnwood offramp in Pretoria.

The body says the animals have been stuck for over five hours.

Owner of the #giraffe that was killed after hitting head on bridge said animal craned his neck. “We went through lots of other bridges”

Naturally, the Daily Mail has already picked up on this sad story, and has more.



Donkey Terrorists?

Israel complains of Hamas donkey-terrorists.

Reuters / Abed Omar Qusini

Palestinian militant movement Hamas has launched several attacks at Israeli forces involving donkeys carrying explosives, the IDF complained. The practice doesn’t seem to be efficient, as Israelis can simply gun down the animals from a distance.

The latest such incident happened on Friday in the Rafah area, the IDF reported Saturday.

“A donkey suspiciously began to approach forces. The forces engaged the donkey and it exploded at a safe distance, whereas no injuries were sustained by the IDF as a result,” the Israeli report said.

“Sending an animal to its death to serve terrorist purposes may seem shocking, but last night certainly wasn’t the first time Palestinian terrorists adopted this despicable tactic,” the IDF said.

Animals, and particularly donkeys, have been participants of insurgencies across the turbulent Middle East for decades, although they are usually used to pull carts with explosives – a cheap version of a car bomb – rather than clad in bombs.

One memorable example happened in January 2003, when a donkey with a bomb strapped to it was left on a road between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Gush Etzion. The bomb was later remotely detonated, but no humans were hurt. The incident caused PETA to call on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to keep animals out of the conflict, which some activists called a publicity stunt that disregarded the loss of human life in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Not only insurgent groups, but also governments explored the use of animal bombs for warfare. The US considered turning pigeons and bats into flying bombs and Soviet Union actually trained dogs to carry explosives to Nazi German tanks during World War II.

The latter program was abandoned, presumably due to low efficiency compared to conventional anti-tank weapons, which became available in larger quantities in the later years of the war. The dog trainers switched to training much more needed mine sniffers for engineers and sledge dogs for medics.



Chinese Zoo Tries Passing off Dog as ‘African Lion’

Via Yahoo news:

The People’s Park of Luohe in the Chinese province Henan has an amazing “African lion” on exhibit for spectators. But the most amazing fact about this proud creature is that it’s actually a dog…

Now this is what you call taking a fat chance:

“The zoo is absolutely cheating us,” the visitor, Sharon Liu, told the paper. “They are trying to disguise the dogs as lions.”

Liu and other zoo visitors reportedly paid 15 yuan ($2.45) for the chance to see the dog and other substitute animals up close…

Indeed they are.

Rest here.



Khama and the Cat Claw


This rather well written news snippet caught my attention earlier. Botswana is one of our northern neighbours:

Peaceful, prosperous and lightly populated Botswana rarely makes the international news—unless its president gets clawed in the face by a cheetah. Officials in the African nation say Ian Khama needed two stitches to his nose after the “overexcited” animal kept at an army barracks jumped up and clawed him when he was just outside the animal’s enclosure. It was “a freak accident, not an attack,” a spokesman for the president tells the AP, adding that it all happened very fast.

This is Africa.

I see some overseas news agencies are calling the incident a ‘mauling’. Hardly. More like the Lieutenant General getting the cat claw!

Still ouch I’m sure!

And just for the record here, cheetahs are generally the most tolerant of humans out of all the large cats species… and of course, the fastest… very fast…



15,000 Crocodiles Escape Farm

And residents are urged to remain indoors, here in South Africa:

A crocodile farm in South Africa has reported that around 15,000 crocodiles escaped after heavy rains forced the farm to open its flood  gates.

Local reports indicate that heavier than normal rains forced the owners of  the Rakwena Crocodile Farm to open the permeable crocodile gates so as to  prevent the pens from being damaged in the rising flood waters. When the gates  were opened it allowed the farm’s 15,000 crocodiles to leave their pens and  enter the Limpopo River.

Workers at the farm have since been scrambling to recover the reptiles, and  have been able to recover about half the animals,  but still have several thousand more loose with no idea about how long it will  be before they can recover them all or if at all.

“There used to be only a few crocodiles in the Limpopo River. Now there are a  lot. We’ve been recapturing them as and when the local farmers phone us to tell  us that there are crocodiles on their property,” Zane Langman, son-in-law of the  farm’s owner Johan Boshoff, told South Africa’s Beeld newspaper.

“We’ve been recapturing them as, and when, the local farmers phone us to tell  us that there are crocodiles on their property,” Langman added.

The Limpopo Province is experiencing heavier than normal rainfall that has  produced several floods in the region resulting in at least 10 deaths. In  neighboring Mozambique flood waters have displaced tens of thousands of people.

The reptiles that escaped were Nile Crocodiles which can reach lengths of up  to 15 feet. They are also able to reach speeds of 22 mph in the water and up to  10 mph while on land. Residents have been cautioned to remain inside and call  professional reptile handlers if one is spotted on their property.

There has been an increase in commercial crocodile farms which breed the  reptiles for their skin and in some cases their meat. Crocodile skins are sold  to manufacturers that produce belts, shoes, handbags and coats, among other  accessories.



Dog Turns Up to Dead Owner’s Church Every Day

Two months after his owner died, a dog in Italy keeps turning up each day at the church she used to attend.

The Telegraph has the story of the faithful doggy:

Ciccio, a 12-year-old German shepherd, waits in vain in front of the altar of the Santa Maria Assunta church in the village of San Donaci in the southern region of Puglia.

He heads to the church as soon as the bells begin to ring each afternoon, just as he did for years when his owner was alive.

The woman, who was known in local dialect as “Maria tu lu campu” – “Maria of the fields” – died suddenly in November.

Ciccio attended the funeral, following his mistress’s coffin as it was carried into the church.

The dog’s devotion has so impressed villagers that they have adopted him as their own, giving him food and water and letting him sleep in a covered area outside the church.

The local priest, Donato Panna, allows him to sit in front of the altar during Masses, baptisms and other services.

He is now hoping to find a new home for the faithful hound.