Tuesday 25 March 2014

Mysterious Flamingo Deaths

An incident has taken place at a zoo in Frankfurt, Germany that has come to my attention. Unfortunately the only source is a German language newspaper, however most browsers have a translate function that will convert the text into English for you, or the language of your choice. Keepers at the zoo were shocked to find fifteen of their flamingoes dead without any clue as to how the attack was carried out. The translate application on web browsers is not as good as a human translator who is familiar with the subtleties of language, so if any HPANWO-readers can speak German could you please get in touch. The article describes the birds as having "stab wounds", being "decapitated" or "partially decapitated" and their heads "demolished"; it's hard to know what that means exactly but another bigger clue is the lack of spilled blood present at the scene. The police think that somebody took the birds away, killed them and then brought the corpses back; the zoo director hasn't ruled out attacks by a predator like a fox. What other possibilities could there be? Well, one is that these unfortunate birds were the victim of the "mysterious mutilation phenomenon", see here for background: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/pony-mutes-on-dartmoor.html. Despite sometimes being called "cattle mutilation" this disturbing phenomenon affects multiple animal species; farm animals, wild animals, aquatic mammals and house pets. Most frightening of all, it turns out that whoever... or whatever... is carrying out these felonies, they sometimes target Homo Sapiens as well, see: http://www.richplanet.net/starship_main.php?ref=175&part=1. The zoo has a press office and I've written to them asking for more information, although this might not be available until the veterinary pathologists have finished their investigation. Source: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/rhein-main/frankfurter-zoo-15-flamingos-brutal-getoetet-12860108.html.

(Edit 6.30 PM) A German-speaking reader has been in touch and his translation differs. The word "demolished" fits better as "ripped off"; this does not directly match reports of the mutilation phenomenon, but we'll see what details to zoo gives me. Amazingly this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. Flamingoes were also killed the same way at that zoo in 2007.

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