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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lion on the Line – Stoppage, toy and carnage (3 different incidents) !!

Last week (3rd of Nov 2011) -  the Patna-Ernalukam Express was rescheduled to depart from Patna Junction at 9pm, Magadh Express, which was terminated at Patna Junction due to its late arrival from Delhi, was rescheduled to depart at 7.30pm. Patna-Delhi Jansadharan Express was rescheduled to depart at 8.10pm, according to Danapur rail division.  Several long-distance mail and express trains were running late – they included  Indore-Patna Express (90 minutes), Lal Quila Express (120 minutes), Magadh Express (330 minutes), Brahmputra Express (90 minutes), Janata Express (480 minutes) and Punjab Nangal Dam-Howrah Express (360 minutes) – these were one Zones – there could be delayed running in other Zones due to varied reasons.
To those who travel by Indian Railways, delays are but common – it is not deride this facility – Indian Railways has  114,500 kilometres -  7,500 stations, carries over 30 million passengers and 2.8 million tons of freight daily.  Delays are reported both on technical and non-technical grounds – normal, accidental, man made and more…………..  elsewhere delays had been attributed to snow fall, falling of leaves, trees, extreme weather and more…   but we have not heard of a delay like this thus far
In England, near Yorkshire, passengers were locked on train for two hours – the reason sighting of a big cat ! – yes due to a Lion… !?!? –
Photo from -
unthinkable – lion on the line !  There are reports that services to and from Shepley in West Yorkshire were halted after police received two reports from members of the public of 'a lion and/or a cub' in the area. They believed the reports were 'genuine' and dispatched officers, backed up by a police helicopter, to the area to conduct a thorough search around 3.30pm.   But nothing was found and train services in the area, near Huddersfield, soon returned to normal after officers gave the all clear. A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said last night that investigations into the incident were continuing.  The search lasted almost two hours as officers tried to locate the lion and passengers were forced to remain onboard trains at Shepley station.  But at 5.15pm the inquiry was ended as no lions were found and there were no additional sightings.
In May 2011, a police helicopter was scrambled and a golf course cleared after a white tiger was spotted in a field in Hampshire by members of the public - only to turn out to be a stuffed toy.  At that time, Police received several calls reporting sightings of the tiger in a field near Hedge End, Southampton.  Specialist staff from nearby Marwell Zoo were called in to advise and potentially tranquillise the wild animal and a local golf course was evacuated.  But as police officers carefully approached the dangerous animal they realised it was not moving and the helicopter crew, using thermal imaging equipment, realised there was no heat source coming from it.
Elsewhere in Ohio, things were more chaotic as many wild animals escaped or rather were set free from a zoo by the owner who shot himself later.  It was reported that nearly 50 exotic wild animals were set free and the Deputy Sheriff of Ohio was forced to shoot a charging tiger, a lion that came dangerously close.  It was blind carnage as the  Sheriff's deputies shot dozens of wild animals - including 18 rare Bengal tigers and 17 lions - across the state's countryside.  Owner of the animals Terry Thompson was found dead by police at the Muskingum County Animal Farm in Zanesville, but cause of death has not been determined.  The place was strewn with carcasses of the animals and the stench was unbearable according to reports. 
This occurred in October 2011 at Zanesville, a city in and the  county seat of Muskingum County, Ohio, United States.  Ohio  is a Midwestern state in the United States.-  34th largest state by area in the U.S. Authorities say that in all, 56 exotic animals escaped from a farm in Muskingum County last night, and one could still be missing this afternoon.  Of those animals, 49 were killed. Six animals -- a grizzly bear, three leopards and two monkeys -- were captured alive and taken to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and a monkey and a grey wolf were at large. The animals that were killed included 18 tigers, nine male lions, eight female lions, six black bears, three mountain lions, two grizzly bears, one baboon and two wolves, Sheriff Matt Lutz said. The escaped monkey poses a danger because it is infected with herpes, the sheriff said.
The witness accounts released today tell of the deputies’ desperate battle to kill the animals before they escaped into neighbouring houses and a motorway near Zanesville, Ohio.  When it was over, 48 animals were dead, including bears, lions and endangered Bengal tigers. Debt-ridden farmer Terry Thompson, 62, had opened the doors of his animals’ cages on October 18 before committing suicide. The reports also offer clues to Mr Thompson’s motive, which has been a mystery. He told one of his employees the night before he released the animals that he was upset about his marital problems and that he had a plan, according to a deputy who talked with the caretaker.
Several of the cages and surrounding fencing had been cut, making it impossible for authorities to secure the animals, the report said. Thompson had been charged over the years with animal cruelty, animal neglect and allowing animals to roam. He had gotten out of federal prison just last month after serving a year for possessing unregistered guns.
As it would happen, days later some criticised the Sheriff questioning the killing and not attempting to capture the animals.  The Sheriff  was quoted as stating that tranquilisation was very complicated, had to be planned many weeks on how much the animals weigh, what they have eaten, how much of medicines to be put and more. . he responded that the loss of animal life was tragic but there was no other option in trying to save the lives of neighbourhood.
Days later, five  men were charged  with trying to steal a lion's carcass in Ohio.  The group had loaded the body of the lion into a Jeep when they were arrested.  The animal was one of dozens shot dead by sheriff's deputies.  The men, aged 17 to 21, each face one misdemeanor count of theft.  In another sign of morbid interest in the exotic creatures, the sheriff said he received many calls about what would happen to the carcasses, including calls from "people that would like to take these animals to taxidermists."
Strange are the ways of the people and we call animals “wild”.
With regards
S. Sampathkumar.

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