Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Animal stories

Nice headline in the Post: "Zoo: Dead worker at fault."
A zookeeper who was mauled to death by a jaguar failed to follow routine safety precautions in which she was fully trained, officials with the Denver Zoo said today.

Ashlee Pfaff, 27, was killed in February when a 140-pound jaguar named Jorge got into an employee access hallway through an open cage door and pounced on her. An autopsy found she died of a broken neck and had extensive internal injuries.

At a press conference this afternoon, zoo officials said that two key safety violations were made by Pfaff; including the failure to verify the location of the jaguar before opening the keeper access door to the exhibit, and failure to maintain two locked doors between the keeper and the animal.

"We have thoroughly researched every possibility and have concluded that the tragedy resulted from human error," said Craig Piper, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Denver Zoo.

"Ashlee opened the door to the exhibit while the animal was in it apparently thinking she had transferred it to its outdoor habitat," Piper said in a statement.

"We have failed to determine why Ashlee failed to follow established protocols she had been trained to perform regularly without incident for more than one year," he said.

The jaguar was shot and wounded and later euthanized by other zoo employees.
This one's even nastier:

Pleasant Grove, Utah - The grandfather of an 11-year-old boy who was killed by a black bear blamed federal foresters today for not warning that the animal had harassed another group of campers at the same site hours earlier.

"We're hoping that the Forest Service will do a better job protecting campers. It's been like a surreal nightmare," Eldon Ives told reporters at a news conference on his front lawn.

"The violent way he was taken is a sorrow that will never heal," Ives said.

He said there was no food in the tent to attract a bear.

Sam Ives was snatched from inside a tent that was a Father's Day gift to his stepfather, Tim Mulvey.

"Something's dragging me!" the boy screamed as he was pulled by his sleeping bag before midnight Sunday in the Uinta National Forest, about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.
This brings up a question I've had occasion to ask before: just what's so feckin' "great" about the "great outdoors," anyway?

The boy was found mauled to death about 400 yards away, hours later. The family had pitched their tent about a mile from a designated campground.

Authorities said it was the same 300-pound black bear that confronted campers before dawn Sunday. Kurt Francom said his son was kicked in the head through a tent wall. The bear clamped his jaws on a pillow and carried it off.

Using tracking dogs, Forest Service staff tried to find the bear but were unsuccessful. Signs in the area generally warn about bears.

The bear that killed the boy was fatally shot Monday, about 12 hours after the attack.

Sam Ives would have been a sixth-grader in the fall at Valley View Elementary School in Pleasant Grove.

Yeesh. The story mentions somewhat ambiguously that "Signs in the area generally warn about bears," so maybe grandpa shouldn't be laying all the blame on the Forest Service. Those signs aren't a joke, even if certain people treat them like one.

Another animal story? Here's a heartwarmer: "Tiger has a cub."

And, stretching the category beyond recognition: "Denver 'panty burglar' charged in break-ins":

A 34-year-old man was charged Monday with breaking into several homes in northwest Denver and stealing women's undergarments and other personal items.

Police said [Carlos] Vigil, whom they called the "Panty Burglar" [wonder how much time they spent coming up with that nom de perv--ed.] entered houses through open windows and doggie doors. They said he took clothing and photographs.

Whatever. But here are some interesting facts and figures:

A man in Colorado Springs recently pleaded guilty to breaking into houses and stealing women's undergarments. A man in Fort Collins faces charges in the theft of more than 1,300 women's undergarments from apartment laundry rooms near the Colorado State University campus.

Because, to paraphrase Willie Sutton, that's where the panties are.

No comments: