Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Anyone seen the King of the Jungle?

We all know that the Gaza is not exactly the most sophisticated place on the planet.
It they would ever twin, I would suggest doing it with Afghanistan or Iraq.
There is not much law and a lot of disorder (an idea for a new reality show? “Outlaw and Disorder”? Oops, forgot, we already have that in the form of incursions in Iraq….)
It seems that not only humans are unsafe – our animal friends are also in danger.
Mid November, four masked gunmen armed with Kalashnikov rifles raided the only zoo in the Gaza Strip.
After they handcuffed the guard and locked him up in the cafeteria, the thieves first stole two white and grey parrots that speak a few words in Arabic.
That is in itself a Good Thing - if they would speak Hebrew, they would for sure be bird pie by now.
Then, the thieves moved on to grab two lions. They were successful with one; the other violently resisted and was left alone.

The zoo’s manager Saud al-Shawwa announced a $1,000 reward for anyone who provides information that could help find the lion and parrots.
"Thousands of people visit the zoo and they will miss these animals, especially the lion," he said.
"We have different species of animals here and we urge the Palestinian security forces to help us find the stolen animals."
(I wouldn't hold my breath if were him - the Palestinian security force is not exactly known for its efficient operations).
"The whole operation lasted less than 30 minutes," Shawwa added.
"The thieves must have visited the zoo before to examine the place. The zoo was officially opened two months ago."

To me, it looks like an animal abduction gang that was filling an order – the black market for lions is non-existent.
Apart from an attitude problem (lions don’t take very kindly to anything that interrupts their daily routine), they are also expensive in the upkeep.
An adult will easily eat more than 3 kilos meat a day, and we are not talking hamburgers, but prime stuff.
So somewhere in Gaza, Jordan or Egypt, there is a Fat Cat stroking the head of this lion….
I don’t think that the announced reward will bring in any leads – the Fat Cat will for sure multiply this amount as hush money if necessary.
Let’s hope that our lion gets a good treatment; if not, it can always cross the bother and enjoy matzot during Pesach in an Israeli zoo…..

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