Oct 20, 2011

My favorite news story of the year so far



Sheriff's deputies shot nearly 50 wild animals — including 18 rare Bengal tigers and 17 lions — in a big-game hunt across the state's countryside Wednesday after the owner of an exotic-animal park threw their cages open and committed suicide in what may have been one last act of spite against his neighbors and police....

Ohio Sheriff Matt Lutz said he is confident that the monkey missing from a Muskingum County exotic animal farm was dead on Wednesday, and therefore the active search for the primate was called off, reports CBS 10-TV. According to Lutz, the monkey is thought to have been eaten by one of the escaped cats." — CBS News

I find that monkey's death almost unbearably moving. On CNN, the police who had to shoot down the tigers and lions were speaking, in haggard tones, how hard it had been to tell their kids what they had had to do that day. But at least one of the escaped animals — that monkey, who also had Herpes, it later transpired — enjoyed the dignity of a natural death, at the hands, or claws, of his oldest nemeses, one of the big cats. What a fantastic way to end his sudden, last-minute burst of freedom. Freed briefly, but ultimately doomed, the monkey and the cat squared off like Samurais to engage in one last blood rite, a last hurrah of Darwinian tooth and claw , a final flurry of jungle law in rural Ohio — the ape going down with all the pathos of the great Kong himself. My favorite news story of the year so far by a long mile.


  1. I myself thought this story was singularly heartbreaking, but I take your meaning, too. It also brought to mind the song "The Tigers Have Spoken" by the magnificent Neko Case.

  2. That's a wonderful song. Make sure Werner Herzog uses it when he does the movie (as suggested by #CraigatPorlock)