July 21, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

“Chimpanzee Dead,” “Dog Dies”–Two Top Stories on Google News KC Page

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A design failure led to the death of poor Brutus, but Bahati was undone by his fellow chimps.

As a sign perhaps that readers have wearied of reading about the violent deaths of their fellow humans the two top stories on the Google News Kansas City page are headlined as follows: “Chimpanzee dead after fight, fall at Kansas City” and “Dog dies after falling five stories off of KC rooftop dog park.”

The chimpanzee murder, if nothing else, may quiet those animal rights activists keen on beginning sentences with the trope, “Man is the only animal that . . . . ” Apparently, man is not. The problem here seemed to be bullying, a phenomenon that transcends species. For reasons not quite clear, a 31-year-old chimp named Bahati was chased by his mates to the limb of a tree that could not sustain his weight. He fell forty feet to his death.

A cellphone video captured the assault. In the background children could be heard asking, “Mean monkeys! Why would they tackle the guy that fell? They should help him because he fell out of the tree!” Again, for those inclined to compare humans to animals, or see no distinction between us and them, here is some evidence in the human’s favor.

After the murder, the caretakers put the rest of the chimps, including the culprits, inside for the rest of the day. Medical staff will perform something like an autopsy on poor Bahati, who will then get a proper burial on zoo property, man being the only animal that buries his dead.

In the unfortunate death of Brutus, a Lab mix, the problem was one of design. The wall surrounding the rooftop dog park at 12th and Main was less than four feet high. Not knowing what was on the other side, Brutus tried to scale it and, alas, did. Kristyn Savage, an applied animal behaviorist, told KSHB that the wall should be six to eight feet tall.

Would that all potentially lethal hazards, human or animal, be so readily identified.

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