Saturday, November 01, 2014
When an animal kills or maims a human, the animal in question is usually put down. This happens no matter what kind of animal – dog, shark, horse, lion, bull, elephant, bear. Indeed, the polar bear that killed Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple in 2011 was also killed, even though the polar bear is in serious danger of becoming extinct (and Eton schoolboys are not). It seems a little unfair; the animal can't be taken to court and tried – if animals could talk, who knows what their reasons might be. They might have felt threatened, or scared, or been hungry. Or, most likely, could probably be excused on the basis that it's their animal nature to be a killer. Or if it's a pet, surely the blame lies more with the animal's owner, and they should be tried (and probably destroyed). Other times, it's just an accident, like a clumsy elephant sitting on someone. Whatever the reason, killing the animal is pretty harsh and doesn't really solve anything.