Friday, December 28, 2007

Ride the Tiger

Couple more things on the developing investigation of the tiger attack at the SF Zoo the other day. The hysteria over this event, recklessly inflated by the media, serves to show just how many people really are nothing more than bleating retards. Look, this is the first time ever that a visitor to an American zoo has been killed by an animal. But with the breathless coverage, including a particularly moronic Today show piece that overtly implied that you're taking your life into your hands, you'd think you're in imminent danger, and many of these goobers seem to genuinely believe that.

Another type of goofball is the bien pensant animal rightist, imploring the rest of us with this "cantcha see" plaint about the intrinsically confining nature of zoos. It does not seem to occur to these people that, especially with endangered species such as tigers, zoos actually serve as a redoubt of preservation of these species. I thought everyone knew this; it's not that complicated.

How long would Tatiana have lasted in the wilds of Siberia, game for poachers and assorted scumbags who ascribe arcane medicinal properties to the animal's organs? You know what's killing off tigers? Self-indulgent fuckheads and superstitious weirdos, who themselves oughta be shot, skinned, and parted out for folk remedies. Failing that, zoos are about the last best realistic hope for preserving what's left of these animals. There are more tigers in Texas than there are in the rest of the world; hell, there are probably more people named Carlos just in San Jose than there are tigers on this planet.

There are, of course, private foundations and sanctuaries, who do wonderful work. But they also have to rely on volunteer work, donations, and the local example I linked has to constantly deal with unwarranted harassment from paranoid neighbors. (Personally, I would be more than happy to live next door to them; Durham is a beautiful town, and I know first-hand that the facility is extremely safe.) Zoos, backed by municipalities and states, do not have to worry about such things (though many do receive substantial funding from private trusts and foundations).

Anyway, what's pissing me off about this stupid story is how idjits have allowed themselves to whipped into a paranoid frenzy over a freak accident which, the more information trickles out, looks less and less like a straight-up accident.

When Carlos Sousa Jr. didn't show up for Christmas dinner, his father called several of his son's friends - including the two brothers injured in the tiger attack that killed the teen.

Either Amritpal "Paul" Dhaliwal, 19, or his 23-year-old brother Kulbir Dhaliwal answered the phone and told Sousa Sr. that his son wasn't with them. In reality, the three young men were either on their way to or had already arrived at the San Francisco Zoo, where they would later be mauled by a 350-pound Siberian tiger.

"I said, 'Have you seen my son?' and he said, 'No,' then he wished me a merry Christmas," the father said.


A man accompanying family members outside the house later told a reporter that the family would have nothing to say until after consulting with a lawyer.

The Dhaliwal brothers have been hostile to police in the current death investigation and were "extremely belligerent" in an earlier encounter with police this year, authorities say.

After the zoo attack, authorities said, the brothers had refused to give their own names, identify the victim or initially give authorities an account of what occurred.

Other reports indicate that pine cones and sticks from elsewhere were found in the tiger's grotto. A shoe-print was found on one of the railings. No doubt there'll be more once the Dhaliwar brothers decide to talk, since apparently they have something to hide.

I fucking despise these puling, paranoid histrionics people indulge in every time there's a unique, if tragic, incident. These same people will climb into their grocery schooners and drive like assholes while talking or texting on their cell phones. They are more than 217 times more likely to blow their own brains out (lifetime odds 225:1) than to be killed by any mammal (other than dogs) (48,957:1). They are even more likely (200:1) to be killed by some sort of fall. People won't you see? Stairs and ladders, the silent killers! Oh, won't someone please think of the children?

It does appear that the SF Zoo may have misrepresented the dimensions on the wall height of the tiger grotto, and someone's going to get their asses sued for it. But the facility had also been inspected and accredited just a couple years ago. And perhaps the tiger would have just continued to go about its business if it hadn't been taunted. I don't know what sort of fucktard goes to a zoo to tease and provoke the animals, but one of the few sensible reader comments at the Chronicle site indicated that such things are commonplace.

We don't know that that's what happened here yet -- indeed, thanks to the recalcitrance and outright lying of the Dhaliwar borthers, we don't know much of anything. I suppose we'll find out more if this goes either to criminal or civil court, but in the meantime, the media would do well to exercise some responsibility, take a big chug from the STFU cup, and quit inciting these hooting dipshits.


woodguy said...

Just read a story claiming that Carlos, Sr. considers his son a hero; he claims Jr.saved the other two lads, taking denial to a whole new level and rivaling the omniscience of even Pat Robertson.

You're right on concerning stairs and ladders. Ever examine the warning labels on an extension ladder? Most of them contain the revelation that you'll suffer injury or death if you fall off. Perhaps we should plaster warning labels on all zoo animals to the effect that wild animals can be dangerous. Who could have imagined?
How 'bout a generic label that says "Stupidity + carelessness= death."

thedevilzone said...

But with what's left of natural habitat disappearing every day, there's really no point in preserving these animals if there's never going to be a place in which to try to reintroduce them. Keeping them in zoos just to keep them from going extinct, just so Cletus and Brandine can go hoot and holler at them - well, really, what's the point?

Of course, if I were king of the world, I'd have it so that there would always be enough habitat around, and if that meant people were going to have to quit goddamn breeding and paving natural areas over to put another outlet mall in their place, well, I'd have some royal edicts for that, too.

Of course, in the real world, it's not going to happen, so again, I say, what's the point? I've enjoyed the times I've seen animals like that up close, but I've also almost gotten arrested for brutalizing the typical zoogoer who thinks it's amusing and original to jump up and down and scratch at his armpits while grunting and groaning at the apes. I'm guessing there are lots more like me; people who realize that going to a zoo is only going to stoke the embers of misanthropy into a roaring blaze, both at the plight of the animals and at the sad irony of realizing how many humans are on the wrong side of that fucking cage.

Heywood J. said...


I haven't been to many zoos, but the last time I went to the Sacramento Zoo, I do recall signs warning people not to fuck with the animals.

Then again, I also recall seeing a fully-loaded diaper sitting right in the middle of a bench. There were three trash cans within twenty feet of that goddamned bench.

Heywood J. said...


Reintroduction seems to be on the agenda of many of these zoo programs that are trying simply for preservation at this point. You're right, reintroduction seems very unrealistic right now, entirely due to human overpopulation and expansion.

A prime case in point would be Bangladesh, a natural tiger habitat, where 150 million people are crammed into an area slightly smaller than Iowa. Some people will apparently not be happy until the overbreed and inundate the planet straight into hell.

woodguy said...

Exactly my point. Had there been a sign on the bench saying "Please dump your rug rat's shit in the garbage" I doubt that it would have made a difference.

If people are too stupid to realize that people don't care to smell their spawn's shit or say, taunt a wild animal three times their size, I guess they're bound to die a stupid, smelly and painful death.