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Do we respect animals?

May 20, 2012
Lion cub with teen in Tshukudu (taken 2008). Source: USA Today

Lion cub with teen in Tshukudu Game Lodge. This photo has been taken 4 years before the latest incident. Source: USA Today

The Namibian reported on Wednesday 16 May 2012 about a ‘cuddly’ encounter between a woman and a lion cub. It happened at Tshukudu Game Lodge near Hoedspruit, South Africa. But there were similar if not worse, in fact lethal incidents in Namibia. With a similar reaction by the ones responsible. But read yourselves:

Lion cub bites tourist in the face in SA
JOHANNESBURG – A tourist from Singapore received 60 stitches after she was bitten in the face by a lion cub near Hoedspruit in South Africa, according to a report yesterday.
The animal narrowly missed an artery in her neck, Beeld reported.
Madelein Querk, 28, and her husband had been touring the country for two weeks, and would have returned home on Sunday.
They were among a group of tourists who visited the Tshukudu game lodge near Hoedspruit, where members of the group posed for pictures with the cubs.
Querk was apparently posing with a one-year-old cub when it bit her, leaving her with four deep cuts of between four and eight cm on the left side of her face, and lacerations on her left arm and leg, where the lion clawed her. Querk’s husband attempted to distract the lion by hitting it with his camera.
The injured woman was treated at the Nelspruit Mediclinic, and was scheduled to fly home tomorrow.
Tshukudu lodge manager Eric Gander said on Monday night that a decision would be taken about the lion cub’s future after an investigation into the incident. – Nampa-Sapa (Source: Namibian)

Please take note of the conclusion of the lodge manager. After an investigation there will be a decision about the cub’s future, not about the future of the management of the nature reserve.

This reminds me of the reaction of a well-known Namibian veterinarian who ‘hired out’ a ‘tame’ male leopard to a film team and was quoted in saying “we had to shoot the leopard” after ‘his’ tame male leopard started a deadly attack on a woman on the set.

Why do we (me included) like to regard wild animals as ‘friends’ or even pets? Why do we tend to ignore their true nature and even violate their comfort zone by cuddling them? Why do reports about culling seals or elephants trigger huge protest campaigns, whereas reports about wild animals being exploited (pimped?) to attract paying guests don’t?

From → Nature / Natur

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