I hereby declare this crazy lion week. And no, its not
because Barry Sanders went on some deranged pro football unretirement
spree. I'm talking the bizarre and varied behavior of feral super cats.
On Tuesday, we got this story,
about a trio of wild lions in Ethiopia rescuing a kidnapped woman and
then guarding her until police arrived. Apparently, this happened a
while ago, and it took some time for word to reach civilization.
Civilization here meaning somebody with AP presswire credentials,
prepaid phone card, and no real desire to do serious fact-checking.
Today, we get this story,
about a a lion and tiger tag team that escaped from their cage at a
private residence outside Minneapolis and mauled a father and son duo.
The animals were part of a private menagerie of large predatory mammals
owned by a local auto dealer.
Setting aside the wisdom of cultivating a "Noah's Ark of Death" in the
the American Midwest—especially by so qualified an animal handler as a
car salesman—I am left with this question: What are America's lions
Have they become some disenchanted with ennui of an idle suburban life
of luxury that they have lost touch with their native African
crimefighting roots? Is there no hope that these creatures can regain
the nobility of purpose that guided the crack squad of hostage rescue
felines that yet patrol the uncharted wastes of Ethiopia?
It would be easy to blame the tiger in all this, claiming that the
striped corrupter somehow coaxed the king of the jungle to stray from
his true calling as four-footed knight errant—as depicted so
accurately and impartially in so many Disney films—but somehow I doubt
that even the Tony the Tempter could undermine royal feline blood, had
the lion himself not truly wanted to be swayed.
It's a sad commentary on the state of America's domesticated jungle
cats, and I for one cannot help but shed a tear at how far below their
"real" behavior our lions have fallen.