Saturday, July 29, 2006

Even More Monkeys (and Pigs)

Two stories worth reporting...

Zoo officials installed an electric fence around a construction site to protect workers from 120 primate hecklers, an animal park in northern England said Friday.

A band of baboons began screeching and chattering when a team of construction workers commenced work to renovate the primate enclosure at Knowsley Safari Park, close to the city of Liverpool, about 210 miles north of London.

Worried that the baboons would become violent, workers at the animal park — which also houses lions, rhino and elephants — have installed the fence to contain them.

"Because we're effectively in a cage and the animals are free to roam around us, we do feel as though the roles are reversed and we are the exhibit," said Geoff Ames, the construction project manager. "However, we're grateful for the protection." Work to create a new enclosure for the primates will be completed this summer, Ames said.

That is scary to me. Baboons are meaner than mean...especially after they've had a Bud or two.

The second story is the usual sad story about animals and alcohol...

Activists protest beer-swilling pigs

Thu Jul 27, 8:19 AM ET

A pair of beer-swilling pigs has embroiled an Australian pub in an animal cruelty debate.

Visitors to "Pub in the Paddock" in the island-state of Tasmania are invited to pour bottles of beer down the willing throats of resident pigs Priscilla and P.B.

Pub owner Anne Free said Wednesday she was outraged that the tourist attraction had been attacked as cruel in the latest edition of a magazine published by animal welfare group Choose Cruelty Free.

Free said the pigs liked beer. She also watered the beer down to ensure they never got drunk.

"When it's very, very quiet, I often actually have to go over and give them a couple of drinks because, yeah, they do look forward to it," Free told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

"I get quite irate when people come in and say: 'Oh, is the pig inebriated?' There's no way that these pigs are being mistreated like that," she added.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals often investigates complaints about the pigs' drinking but have found the porkers unharmed.

"Whilst it is a difficult pill to swallow ... it's certainly not cruelty, unfortunately," RSPCA state chief executive Rick Butler told the ABC.

Choose Cruelty Free office manager Liz Jackson disagreed.

"It's not natural to give a pig beer," Jackson told The Mercury newspaper.

What can I say? It does not surprise me that these pigs are drinking the amber nectar. What would you do if you just stood around in the mud all day? While it may not be "natural" to give a pig beer, Ms. Jackson just does not know what kind of pressure these animals will put on you to get this stuff. They probably are threatening some sort of monkey attack or something (see above).