Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wildcat Haven Death

The death of a long time dedicated keeper at Wildcat Haven is horrible.   She and the owners of that sanctuary, for big cats bred in captivity, then abused by humans, have dedicated their lives to
this endeavor.  It is a dedication of love with few rewards.  They don't get the huge bucks shelter directors make.  They do it because its their calling.

For one of the owners of the sanctuary, which exceeds federal standards for security of big cats, to return home and find his keeper and friend, dead, mauled in a cage with two cougars, made me cry.  I listened to his heartbreaking 911 call for help.  He also entered the cage with the two cougars, alone, in the dark, to drag her out, risking his life.

It will be hard for them to continue after such a thing has happened.  Such a horrible tragedy.  A young woman, a mother, has lost her life.  She died alone and by tooth and claw, attacked by the very animals she had dedicated her life to help.

How do you deal with this?

There are no big public funeral parades with streets lined in supportive reverent spectators or retirement benefits or death payouts when someone like her dies.  There was just such a tribute funeral parade today in Portland for a fallen volunteer police officer.  People who strive every day, giving and giving of themselves, to make this world better in any number of ways do so quietly, far from the spotlight.  They do make our world better.  They gift our world with kindness, a trait sorely lacking in our violent selfish world.

No one will ever know why one of the cougars attacked her.  Cougars are extremely powerful animals.  One paw swipe, one moody moment, and a frail human, nearby, is dead.  One mood swing.  One moment of irritation.  That is why safety protocols must be followed.  The sanctuary had protocols.  But they were on the books only.  They didn't follow them there, from what reports sound like.  They got too comfortable.

I can't imagine what the couple who run  this sanctuary are going through.

I urge them to take some time, then go on.  Only follow their own safety protocols.  The sanctuary is needed.  It gives a respite for the animals humans damage with our selfish brutal egocentric ways.   We need people who say we humans are not all bad, all rotten and violent and self centered, with their actions, in the shadows, and their sacrifices.

This was a horrible horrible tragedy.

This woman deserves a funeral parade, streets lined, heads bowed, flower petals filling the air.

She was the antithesis of the "normal" human.

This woman's life told of who we can be.

Google how many animals we kill in America alone every year.  This is how we treat animals, this is how many we kill.  Do we need places like Wildcat Haven to close?  We don't.  They keep under a hundred formerly abused big cats.   We need many many more such places.

"Report: Number of Animals Killed In US Increases in 2010
10,153 million (nearly 10.2 billion) land animals were raised and killed for food in the United States in 2010, according to data extrapolated from U.S. Department of Agriculture reports. This is a 1.7% rise from the 2009 totals, larger than the 0.9% increase in US population, meaning that animals killed per-capita increased slightly.

The Breakdown:
Of the 10,153 million land animals killed, 9,210 million (91%) were chickens raised for meat, 464 million (4.5%) were chickens raised for eggs, 276 million (2.5%) were turkeys, and the remaining 202 million (2%) were cows, pigs, other mammals, and ducks and geese.

In addition to the 9,278 million animals who were slaughtered, the total figure includes the 875 million animals, or 8.6%, who died lingering deaths from disease, injury, starvation, suffocation, maceration, or other atrocities of animal farming and transport. It should be noted that the U.S. is a net exporter of both live animals and processed meat, so the number of animals actually consumed in the U.S. was less than the number killed.

The 10,153 million animals raised and killed for food in the U.S. in 2009 accounted for 98% of all land animals abused and killed in the U.S. An estimated additional 200 million land animals were killed in biomedical experiments, by hunters, by furriers, in pounds, or as “pests"."

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