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One of the staples of the evening news is the Sappy Animal Story—elephants who learn Braille, puppies who wash their owners’ cars, dope-sniffing ferrets who can crawl anywhere in search of Killer Weed. But here are two of a somewhat different sort that did not make the cut.

In the New Delhi (India) Zoo on September 23, a 22-year-old named Maqsood who was said to be under the influence of alcohol at the time, pushed his way past guards and into the enclosure called home by a tiger. For a while, the tiger pawed and poked at him, trying to decide if this was simply a noisier-than-usual version of dinner. Then it picked him up by the neck and carried him around the enclosure for 10 to 15 minutes, thinking the matter over in the manner of President Obama.

Unfortunately for Maqsood, being carried around in the jaws of a tiger was not good for him, and by the time guards arrived to help, he had passed away. So far as I can tell, the tiger was not euthanized despite the fact that it made the mistake of acting like a predator. Perhaps it was spared because of its extreme rarity, or because in India, people have been eaten by big cats for centuries and may be more tolerant of it than we are here.

The same was not true for a black bear that killed a 22-year-old man in the Apshawa Preserve in the Garden State, about 40 miles northwest of New York City. This was the first bear fatality in New Jersey since 1852, and as such might have merited airtime, but such was not the case. The unfortunate bear got himself killed right quickly, and did not even get a chance to describe his emotions to the news staff of WNBC-TV, to whom emotions are very important.

And then, a non-animal-related item. On September 25, in Moore, Oklahoma, one Alton Alexander Nolen attacked and beheaded a former co-worker at Vaughan Foods Processing Plant and was busy beheading another employee when he was shot by the plant’s chief operating officer, Mark Vaughan. Mr. Vaughan is a reserve deputy sheriff, was present at the scene, had a gun, and knew how to use it, thereby saving at least one life and possibly more.

No one has commented on this aspect of the story: What would have happened if there was the usual delay while the police were notified, got there, figured out what was going on, went into the building, and found Alton Nolen (or didn’t)? Not a word about this, anywhere.
Stay tuned for further developments.