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Sunday, April 5, 2015

animal escapade ~ this time it is Taiwan ~ mayor cuts sorry !

Animals are interesting - People throng to Zoos  to see and enjoy animals.  Is animals coming out of their enclosures a rarity or a general occurrence ? Human mind tends to compare – and nearly identical instances expect identical handling…  World over there are Zoological parks housing animals, some in their natural habitats, frequented by people. Children enjoy seeing animals, so do most of us.

Taiwan  is a sovereign state in East Asia. The Republic of China, originally based in mainland China, now governs the island of Taiwan, which makes up over 99% of its territory,  as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands.  One of the cities in Northern Taiwan is – ‘Hsinchu’, popularly nicknamed "The Windy City"  due to its climate.
The zoo at Vandalur in the outskirts of Chennai  is sprawling and attracts huge crowds – far cry from the days, it was housed in Lily Pond complex [Moore Market] nearer Central Station. Early this year, the zoo was in news – reportedly, a portion of the retaining wall of the tiger enclosure collapsed -  reports of the big cats being at large created a scare.  There was  some drama and conflicting reports  and later the two-year-old Royal Bengal tigress, was found  within her enclosure.  That is not an isolated incident, earlier a python escaped and there had been news of crocodiles found in nearby water bodies.

Away in  California, the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens founded in 1966 is a big zoo.  The Los Angeles Zoo has had a number of notable escaped animals over the years. One particular spate took place during the late 1990s and early 2000s when, in half a decade, at least 35 animals escaped the zoo including zebras, chimps, kangaroos and antelopes. Evelyn the Gorilla was the star escaping from her enclosure five times. In one widely covered incident, she used some overgrown vines to pull herself out of her exhibit, and remained at large for hours.

In Taiwan, the Mayor of Hsinchu City warned residents that a tiger and two fully grown orangutans were on the loose after escaping from the local zoo, there was more than an air of panic. The freshly-elected mayor saw perfect chance to impress his voters ! ,,, though they were urged not to panic reassuring that the Mayor would be personally supervising the capture and return of the animals – the reaction was one of panic – People’s Daily Online reported that doors  were locked, children dragged indoors and pets secured as the hunt for the beasts began.

Mr Lin, 39, had announced the animals' escape on his Facebook page after a member of the public phoned to tell him that the zoo's three most famous residents were missing from their enclosures. His post was quickly picked up and widely shared by concerned locals …… embarrassingly for him, however, just an hour later - after calls from bewildered zoo officials - he had to admit he had been mistaken.  

 The reason was simple – the animals were no longer in their enclosures because they were being renovated and they had been temporarily moved to Taipei Zoo in the island's capital city. In his follow-up post, the mayor wrote: 'I appear to have been misinformed, and the animals are safe and well and at another zoo while their enclosures being renovated, but this underlines the fact that we should always be careful about our animals, and I would urge everybody to take interest in their welfare.' The gaffe attracted a stream of ridicule online, with critics accusing the mayor of being too quick to issue the warning just as a means of gaining publicity.

One user on China's micro-blogging website Weibo writing: 'Typical politician, leaping in with both feet to grab the glory and limelight without checking the facts first.'

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th Mar 2015-03-20
News source : Daily Mail; photo – tw.people.com.cn 

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