Dispatch from the Edge: Week Ending 10/21/11

Posted on October 21, 2011

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By Michael Devlin

The premier bizarre news story of the week of course was the tragic slaughter of exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio.  On Tuesday night, Terry Thompson, the owner of a private menagerie, threw open the doors to their cages and then took his own life.  Dozens of wild beasts escaped, and authorities had no choice but to hunt them down for fear human lives would be lost in trying to capture them alive.

In all, eighteen Bengal tigers, seventeen lions, six black bears, two grizzly bears, two wolves, three mountain lions, and a baboon were gunned down. Only a handful – a young grizzly, two monkeys, and three leopards – were caught and sent to the Columbus Zoo.

Not since the 2009 episode where Travis the pet chimp attacked the friend of his owner, tearing her face and hands off, has the outcry against the keeping of wild animals been so loud.  12 states, including Ohio, have almost no regulations regarding exotic pets.

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­­­­In Texas, the critter in question was already deceased. Dallas police claim a man selling frozen armadillos in the parking lot of an apartment complex got into an argument with a customer, a 57 year-old woman who planned to eat the armored creature.  When they could not agree on a price, the man hurled the frozen carcass at her twice, bruising her chest and leg, and then fled the scene. At press time, he remains at large.

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­­­­­­­­­­From real monsters to imaginary ones – the furry puppets of Sesame Street were subverted last Sunday when hackers infiltrated their YouTube channel and replaced videos of alphabet fun with porn. The skin flicks were available for twenty minutes before they were taken down. The executives at Sesame Workshop have issued an apology, though it is unclear precisely how many preschoolers were traumatized.