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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jonas, Toad and Sean's Day Out - the anixous moments ---

The psychic Paul hit the headlines ; Psychic from Greek ‘of the soul, mental’ is somebody who professes extraordinary ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception. Psychics mostly appear in fiction. Whether PAUL the Octopus had any ESP or was it too much of a confidence - the debate could rage on !!

All successes are to be replicated and in Capetown, they did the exact thing. Jabulani, an octopus at Two Oceans Aquarium, South Africa was put to test - similarly two jars were lowered into his tank one containing Spanish and other the Dutch flat. Jabulani reportedly picked up Spaniards as winners.

Incidentally, the official match ball of FIFA 2010 WC was Jabulani, a ball made from eight spherically molded panels with a textured surface intended to improve aerodynamics. The word means ‘happiness’ in Zulu language. This article is not about Octopus or football but marine transit. Marine insurance is insurance providing indemnity arising out of loss or damage to subject matter which is in transit from one place to place. Though coverage mostly is on All risks basis, there is a clause known as “TPND” – which provides coverage for loss of or damage to the subject matter insured caused by theft or pilferage or by non delivery of an entire package. The subject matter need not necessarily be ‘cargo or inanimate object’ – there could be live cargo as well.

In Eastern Canada, there were anxious moments as thieves drove off the truck and the trailer containing a Bengal tiger named Jonas and two camels named Todd and Sean. This caught International attention.
Moving a live animal from one place to another presents manifold risks and even Risk Managers find it difficult to think of all potential situations avoiding unanticipated consequences. Many countries have strict rules in place which include restriction of journey time, transport vehicles fitted with high quality equipments including temperature monitors, mechanical ventilators, availability of feed and drinking water, prohibiting young ones, females in the last stages of gestation and more. Some Companies offer expertise in transportation with totally insulated, closed, air controlled vehicles.

Some trailers even have torsion flex axles for a smoother ride. Most of these companies would go in for a standard insurance protection as well.

The animals belonged to Ontario Zoo, had been transported by road and were stolen when it was halting from a motel. A reward of $ 20000 for the safe return of the animals was announced. The Zoo officials were worried as there were no clues of the missing animals and they were concerned of the safety of the animals when kept without food and water for days. Initially it was thought to be a simple of vehicle theft without knowledge of the contents but the anxiety increased with the possibility of thieves being fully aware of the exotic animals being carried. Jonas being a tiger was contained in an internal cage inside the trailer preventing any possible escapade; for camels it was different as they were considered very friendly being trained zoo animals.

The Law enforcing authorities of Quebec tasked 40 officers and a search helicopter to find the tiger and two camels searching for the aluminum EBY brand trailer with licence plate number of E4398Y.  The Bowmanville Zoo in Ontario, a private zoo in Canada is a very famous one and is one of the largest suppliers of animals for Hollywood movies and television programmes. Days after the theft, the concerned Zoo authorities pleaded the thieves through the media to provide water and shade to the animals stating that camels which had been placed in stalls on the trailer can be given buckets of water whilst the tiger can be given water by extending a water-filled turkey baster through the cage because the tiger knows how to drain water from the baster.

The plight of the animals occupied space in World media including BBC News.  As time passed by the zoo keepers were anxious as the tiger would require fluid and could not withstand long hours. The camels were biologically built to withstand extreme conditions and can live without water for many days, but tiger could soon dehydrate.

Attempts were made to stop any illegal sale of the ill gotten animals. Theft of exotic animals – small ones like reptiles, amphibians, birds, tarantulas or monkeys have all been reported earlier but not bigger ones of tiger and camels. Joan had been raised in the zoo from its childhood and had been bottle-fed and camels had been used to rides.

After few days, the tiger and camel pair were recovered – still there were concerns amongst the Zoo authorities about their health conditions as this is hot period in Canada. Medical supplies were rushed to the recovery spot (details of which remained secret). One of the authorities was quoted as saying “it’s is like amber alert, the longer it lasts, the less likely you are to get them back”.

From an insurance perspective, the marine policy would indemnify theft and non delivery but death to the animal arising out of delay and non availability of feed / water would be outside the purview of the policy of insurance.

Jonas the tiger was 400 pounds (180mg) though trained, friendly and locked behind several doors in an internal cage, it is still a tiger. The trailer had been located on the side of a small paved road under a tree roughly 40 km away from the parking lot where it was stolen. Those who had stolen had fed cat kibble and supermarket steaks – the lurking fear was lack of water and possible dehydration to tiger, as camels could go on without water for even 10 days.

Later reports from Montreal stated that investigators arrested two men aged 23 & 44, following a search. The motive of the theft remains undisclosed. It is also stated that the Zoo paid out a reward to the tipster which led to the recovery.

Thus ended the Big Cat and Camels’ day out. Hope you found that to be interesting. Look forward to your feedback.    (Source :, and photos :

With regards – Sampathkumar S

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