Thursday, 8 July 2010

Penguin stolen from Dublin Zoo

Some years ago, there was an awful advert for a chocolate bar with a slogan that went “when you feel a little bit peckish, pick up a, pick up a Penguin”.   Well, despite Comical Brian Lenihan’s assurances that Ireland is out of recession, it seems that times are so hard that some people are taking that mantra literally. 

However, we are not talking chocolate bars here -  we are talking living, breathing penguins.   Now it’s long been known that the average Dublin skanger could steal the eye out of your head before you could blink, but you would have thought that the penguins in Dublin Zoo might be safe enough.  Not so.

It seems that three men hopped over the fence surrounding the said zoo's penguin enclosure, picked up Keli, a 10-year old female, put her into a sack, and made off with her.  You can check this on the RTE website if you suspect I’ve just come back from the local head shop. 

They then got a taxi  to Dublin’s north inner city, telling the driver that they had a rabbit in the sack.  As you do.  The taxi driver considered this statement credible enough and whisked them off to their destination without further ado.

The penguin was later found wandering around Rutland Street  - presumably in a bit of a flap - and was returned to the zoo unharmed.  Maybe they weren’t that peckish after all. 

Would you bill-eve it?

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Anonymous said...

They probably thought it was a free range chicken and the zoo an open air market. All that "free" education hey.....

Dublin skangers, trundle the lot of them off to make a heavy water tank out of lolly pop sticks on Rockall.


The Gombeen Man said...

Must say, D, I have to agree. I mean, in what other city in the world must even the zoo penguins live in fear??

anna said...

The funniest bit is the taxi driver clearly so used to trussed , bagged and quacking rabbits taking a ride with him: did his human mates say his paw hurt so he couldn’t walk?

Reminds me of ‘The Commitments’:

Scene: Stairwell./ Lift area of Ballymun flats
Dramatic personae:
*Band leader
* Scruffy Ballymun early prototype youthful skanger +
* Scruffy pedigree ( unknown) Ballymun horse
Band leader: You’re not putting that horse in the lift!
Early prototype skanger: Sure the stairs would kill him!

IN my homesick youth abroad I often wafted into an Irish pub with 60’s Guinness ads: Seals, camels pelicans etc drinking Guinness: I though it was all a dream till I came to Dublin, where quacking rabbits take cabs, horses take lifts, and penguins operate Dublin Zoo’s Neighbourhood Watch Programme.
Ah whimsical Dublin lives on.

Anonymous said...

GM, a couple of articles on the attitude towards animal welfare in Ireland.

Two notable points IMO in the next particular one:

(1) Very telling finding when the UK are Ireland compared, with regards to the number of Dogs put down.

(2)Another interesting statistic in this article, which states that 78% of Irish individuals are "horrified" at dog welfare here. Thats an estimated three quarters of the population, no less. So the obvious question is, as animal welfare is an ongoing tragedy here, how is it possible that it's not only tolerated but an intergral part of the culture? Something isn't right. Big surprise there then.

Was it not Immanuel Kant who said "we can judge the heart of man by his treatment of animals."


The Gombeen Man said...

@Anna. My brother one told me someone at his work told a tale of his neighbours leading a horse out the front door of their house.

@Dakota. Shocking. Ten times the rate of that in the UK! You have to wonder is it just down to callousness/fecklessness? And then you have that awful Smithfield Market and all the neglected horses roaming around some of our housing estates.

Ella said...

3 Chavs pick up a bird and give her the ride of her life in a taxi and then dump her... only in Dublin.

Anonymous said...

GM I know on the face of it this incident at the zoo is hilarious - and Ella yeah it could only happen here - and the three toerags probably didn't even know that it was a penguin. The question really is what were they going to do with the poor creature? Thats were the comedy stops and the terror begins.

TBH I think that act - equally hilarious and bizzare as it was - underlines a far deeper problem which the stats above also point to. Irelands record on animal rights is really not matched anywhere else. Other much larger states have there problems with animal welfare but they are nothing compared to Ireland. The problem here is widespread and more disturbingly deep (almost bordering on the sadistic). The nub of the matter is; if a culture abounds which cannot even accept and care for dumb animals, how can it even contemplate valuing human beings? The answer as far as I can see is, it can't. You see GM this problem was always there, its not a phenomenon of the last few recessionary years, it was always there! Now I'm not talking about exploiting animals for what they provide, or even alluding to the many individuals who are ambivalent to animals one way or the other, I'm talking about, well theres no other word for it but, badness. The old phrase "you don't get it anywhere else to the same extent" applies so much to this island but in this instance there is a myriad of data backing up the statistics. There is most definitely a deep and profound psychological reason for it (unfortunately there is not as much data for this aspect). What exactly the psychologial reason is, I am convinced is unique to the Irish and explains much if not all the problems associated with this state. I have no doubt. This one facet of the culture IMO is intrinsic for understanding the overall motivation which fuels everything else here.

GM you say callousness/fecklessness, yeah I think you incapsulated it quite well. (Callousness would suggest to me a lack of empathy for others, including, animals and fecklessness an uncaring sense of irresponsibility). Yet to me, beneath such concepts exist centuries of socialisation and psychological processes which is reflected in state legislation and individuals everyday norms, values and attitudes in Ireland. Its extremely worrying for the future.


The Gombeen Man said...

Very true, Dakota.

I can't recall the number of times I have been shocked by the wanton cruel acts carried out on animals in this country. There were a few particularly horrific ones in Finglas a year or two ago which I read about in the freebie local paper. And if scumbags treat animals in such a way, I would contend it's only the legal consequences that deter them from doing the same to humans.

You'd wonder what we're bringing up. A super race of scumbags to make the characters from A Clockwork Orange look like they've stepped out of a Famous Five adventure?

Bernd said...

Now, now ... let's not et into a flap about these high jinx of some exuberant Oirish youngsters, no harm done, eh? Just a bit of fun! Nothing compared to those hundreds of swans slaughtered and eaten by those immigrants, y'know? Was in the paper, so must be true!

I think Gandhi had some choice comments regarding animal welfare too. But then it was him, being asked what he thought about "Western civilization", who answered: "I think it would be a good idea!"

By the way ... the driver of the taxi should see a doctor and an ENT-specialist to boot. After about five milliseconds the smell should have made hin very wary of the "rabbit".

Anonymous said...

Yes Bernd very true, its not a purely Oirish trait to be off your head and see animals as the enemy - and a tasty one at that. But unfortunately there is more nutters here(of all "classes") per sq Kilometer than anywhere else. Not to mention the culture seemingly encouraging them - or at least doing next to nothing to stop such acts.

Also Bernd compairing the high jinx of the Oirish scallywags to the slaughter of thousands of swans by emmigrants, reminds me of apples and oranges :)

As for the reaction of the taxi driver, his sense of smell could have been empaired, LOL.....


Bernd said...

Er ... Dakota ... the swan slaughter is wholly apocryphal and a FOAF tale, yet to be found in Irish media with a po-faced concern for the swans. The same media which seemed to treat the penguin caper as just a bit of fun ...

Anonymous said...

Yes Bernd a modecom of consistency in sections of the media and checking the facts all helps. I wondered why there was very little information for this.. Links? Nothing surprises me at this stage, one way or the other.

Have a good day Bernd.


Anonymous said...

Actually, they were decent young lads that would not harm a fly. The reason behind the incident, is in fact the recession, because it was one of the accused girlfriends birthday, due to bein recently made redundant. He could not afford her birthday present! due to her harmless obsession with penguins he tought it would be the perfect gift. Unfortunatly, the person in question, did not bank on the girlfriend actually wanting a live penguin in their household. Turns out it was not stuck such a good
idea, him and the penguin got the boot!!! Just to be clear, they were not intending out to hurt the penguin.

Dakota said...

@Anon 20:59 The fact they did it, is the problem.........