Date: Thu, 31 Aug 95 12:27:21 -0700
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: WhiteBoardness 8/30/95
Excerpted-from: WhiteBoard News for August 30, 1995
It's almost too much to bear: Monday, an Australian state banned koala
It seems the teddy-bear look-alikes suffer anxiety attacks when tourists
pick them up at zoos to pose for pictures.
New South Wales ordered the ban after a campaign by animal rights groups.
Officials said the photo shoots caused unacceptable stress to the animals.
But the government has a heart. The ban will be phased in between now and
January 1997, and the new rules still allow some fondling of the furry
Although tourists won't be allowed to hold koalas, they can still stroke or
pet them. They will also be permitted to put their arms around a koala as
long as it remains on a tree branch.
Rufus Godwin learned the fate of his missing hunting dog Flojo when a
500-pound alligator coughed up the animal's electronic tracking collar.
Then, when trappers slit open the 11-foot gator's belly, they found the tags
and collars of six more hunting dogs, some of which were lost 14 years ago.
For the past 20 years, hunting dogs have been disappearing in the Blackwater
River State Forest. Their owners, members of the Blackwater River and Santa
Rosa fox hunting associations, thought people were stealing them.
The thief, it turns out, was the 30-year-old gator, which had turned a game
trail into his private diner, grabbing dogs as they ran across Coldwater
Creek in pursuit of game. Their barking apparently was his dinner bell.
Godwin had set Flojo, a $5,000 Walker fox-hunting hound, loose in the
forest. The last he heard of her was her bark as she chased an animal,
probably a deer.
Hunters and alligator experts said the supply of dogs probably kept the
gator from children in a popular swimming hole nearby.
For a mix of no-nonsense and whimsy, it's hard to beat the name chosen by
a group opposed to the proposed new baseball stadium: The Committee for
More Important Things.
© 1995 Peter Langston