Update

I see that National Geographic has released a new map of Australia.

Old Map:

Since then:

New Map:

On the positive side, I note the complete disappearance of man-eating koalas, mosquitoes and poisonous snakes, all fuel for the Greens’ barbie (see below).

Now all that’s left is for the Aussies to find a way to set fire to the ocean, and the shark problem will likewise disappear.

Cute Lil Animules

I read this story with interest few days ago, and it seems like a classic case of animals striking back at humans:

“A chimpanzee came in the garden as I was digging,” Ntegeka Semata said in an interview with the publication. She noted that her four young children were with her and as she turned her back to get water, the chimp took her child by the hand and ran off.
The child screamed, which caused the other villagers to pay attention and chase after him, but it was too late. “It broke off the arm, hurt him on the head, and opened the stomach and removed the kidneys,” Semata continued, adding that the child died on the way to the local hospital.

Here’s the thing.  The article points out that chimps share about 94% of their DNA with humans — i.e. they’re the closest thing to us in the animal kingdom.  That does not make us kinfolk, by the way (just in case the above story didn’t get the point across), and chimps are total assholes:  they exhibit all the bad traits of human behavior (murder, cannibalism, torture etc.), and there’s nothing at all cute about them.  A friend back in South Africa once described their look as “trying to decide which way to kill you”, and he’s not wrong about that.

I was driving through the Kruger National Park once, and I’d stopped to take some photos of a herd of buffalo, when a young male chimp jumped on the car’s bonnet and stood peering into the car through the windshield.  As it happened, I’d left a pack of potato chips on the dashboard, and when the chimp saw it, he started to gibber and jump around, trying to reach the packet through the glass.  Of course, I burst out laughing — and when the chimp heard my laughter, he stopped dead and stared at me with that  look.  Then he ripped off a windshield wiper as though snapping a pretzel, waved it at me, then scuttled off with it like it was a trophy.  It was the most human act I’d ever seen from an animal, any animal.

I should have just shot the little prick but they take a dim view of that kind of thing at the Kruger Park, so I just drove off, seething*.

So yeah, I can quite imagine that the chimp in the article above was pissed off at humans, and destroying their habitat sounds as good a reason as any.  They know  who’s responsible, you see, and some kind of retaliatory action is not at all surprising.

The next time you see some movie where chimps are freed from a medical research facility and set about causing mayhem and murder, I’m here to tell you that it’s not at all far-fetched.

Photo credit: iStock

*Update & Correction Dept.: A couple of Alert Readers contacted me and told me that what happened to me in the Kruger Park was doubleplus unpossible because chimps are tropical jungle-dwellers and not found in Seffrica, ergo it must have been a baboon.  In high dudgeon, I went to find the pictorial evidence (i.e. a photo) that I took of the little bastard… and it was indeed a baboon.

What the hell, they all look alike to me.

No Kidding

I know, we all have a good chuckle at stuff like this:

And then there’s this, which pushes the needle even past Code Red (click to embiggen):

I know, I make fun of our Oz friends a lot on these here pages, but this is no laughing matter:

About 100,000 homes in the Sydney area are said to be at risk, with 31,500 of those being in the city’s North Shore. Residents have been warned to take action before it’s too late.
‘Under these conditions, some fires may start and spread so quickly there is little time for a warning, so do not wait and see,’ the Rural Fire Service said on Monday.
‘There are simply not enough fire trucks for every house. If you call for help, you may not get it. Do not expect a firetruck. Do not expect a knock on the door. Do not expect a phone call. Your safest option will always be to leave early.’

Sheesh.

Looks like everything’s more dangerous Down Under:  snakes, spiders, sharks, Train Smash Women — and now, fires.

Good luck, me old cobbers.  Holding thumbs on this side of the water…

Quote Of The Day

Heard on a radio show the morning after a tornado hit north Dallas and took out houses in Preston Hollow, a ritzy neighborhood:

“That area’s so exclusive, even the Fire Department’s phone number is unlisted.”

This happened about ten miles south of us, which sounds close but isn’t.  (Plano seldom gets hit by violent storms, possibly because the insurance payouts would put the companies out of business.  Worst that ever happened to our old Plano house was a tree getting decapitated in the front yard, and on another occasion, high winds driving the rain sideways  into the roof, lifting shingles and causing a leak indoors.)

Night before last, the only thing that happened to us was a momentary power failure — enough to make my garage door opener lock up, and the electric security gate ditto.  Enter manual labor (not mine, the Mexican maintenance team’s).

Oh, yeah:  President Trump was in Dallas for a campaign stop a couple days ago, but the two events are probably coincidental, no matter what the Jackals Of The Press may say.