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The Lion of Kabul has died.
January 26, 2002 10:46 PM   Subscribe

The Lion of Kabul has died. He survived mistreatment at the hands of the Taliban and even lived through a grenande attack, but it was finally old age that put him in his grave. I'm hoping he's symbolic of the Afgan people -- that they will see their troubled times through to the end.
posted by Wildcat3 (7 comments total)

 
Poor lion....
posted by Katy Action at 10:59 PM on January 26, 2002


From a report I saw on ABC, it wasn't just the Taliban. Regular Afghan folk seem to not have the same reverence for animal life that a lot of people have here. The video of a man throwing rocks at a monkey were pretty twisted as well.
posted by owillis at 3:16 AM on January 27, 2002


He certainly did touch the hearts of animal lovers abroad. According to the economist last month (login required), Thanks to the renewed international attention—and over $10,000 worth of donations per animal—the zoo should now be safe. Since it is Sunday, I will avoid waspishness and therefore leave it to your research to discover the equivalent amount of international money that has been raised to support the fleeing Afghans...

But it paid tribute to zoo staff who had remained to care for the animals despite not being paid for several months and being short of food themselves takes on a rather chillier overtone when supplemented with the economists information that Years of conflict have taken their toll, with animals increasingly seen as food rather than attractions. 48 seems quite a respectable age for a prospective luncheon item.

(Coincidentaly, owillis, this edition of the economist also describes the misfortunes of the Montana ranchers who have recently been proscribed by law from putting elk in fenced enclosures to provide a service called "a fenced trophy hunt", and "harvesting" young elk for antler tissue to sell as an aphrodisiac into Far Eastern markets. Sorry - I saw your head appear above the parapet and couldn't resist a potshot. No offence, but maybe 'regular' Afghan folk have the same reverence as 'regular' Western folk and all ABC showed was the behaviour of the sort of 'unregular' people that all societies have.)
posted by RichLyon at 3:52 AM on January 27, 2002


Regular Afghan folk seem to not have the same reverence for animal life that a lot of people have here.

owillis: Does your definition of "here" include regular people in Wisconsin?

"In an appeal to Milwaukee County Zoo visitors to stop throwing objects into exhibits, bird curator Kim Smith on Thursday said coins had killed two of the zoo's rarest birds and had damaged the internationally important captive breeding program for Humboldt penguins. Zinc poisoning from pennies heedlessly tossed into exhibit areas killed a wattled curassow from South America last spring and a Humboldt penguin in 1997, Smith said. "
posted by Carol Anne at 5:28 AM on January 27, 2002


I don't understand what compells some people to jump into zoo exhibits. Get a kitty if you want to romp with the animals.
posted by adampsyche at 5:45 AM on January 27, 2002


I think it speaks more to lack of staff supervision and sufficient mutual social pressure. Milwaukee's zoo seems to be more accessible than many, and has ahem a more urban visitor demographic. They get more roving teenage mobs showing off for each other and harassing other visitors. I haven't been there in several years but the same process gradually destroyed urban amusement parks across the country and now presents problems for exurban theme parks. Kabul just had no chance of fighting the same kinds of problems because they had no money and no staff.
posted by dhartung at 7:22 AM on January 27, 2002


I'm hoping he's symbolic of the Afgan people -- that they will see their troubled times through to the end.

yak. f- the Grammar Police: where are the Metaphor Police when you need 'em?


posted by nagchampa at 7:44 AM on January 27, 2002


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