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By Pam Burke 

View from the North 40 - Imagine, if you can, my disappointment


Last updated 5/21/2021 at 12:32pm

With one headline, Live Science promised me an epic tale of adventure, heroism and more than just a little absurdity: “After a Chinese zoo covered up a leopard escape, 100 chickens are searching for the big cat.”

My gaaaawd! The chickens in China are forming a hunting party to track down an actual leopard? One hundred chickens, all focused on one objective against a fierce predator? Chickens? Hunting leopards? Imagine that if you will, if you can.

Maybe they’re hunting in packs like hounds — the entire flock working an area, beaks to the ground trying to scent the animal, until a chicken picks up the feline’s trail and sounds the call to hunt. Buh-CAWK!! BuhCAAWK!! BuhCAAAWK!!!

And the chase is on.

The leopard, as quiet as the killer it is, races through the forest, and the chickens, all 100 chickens, reach their heads forward, bring their wings to half flap and stretch their drumsticks into a long, gallumping gallop in hot pursuit.

Or maybe them chickens is just a flock of good old birds protectin’ their community with a proper posse huntin’ down the criminal who poses a threat to their peace and unity.

They’s armed themselves with tiny garden implements and — mounted up on a herd of potbelly pigs — take off, 100 chickens strong, in hot pursuit of the escaped convict.

Or maybe one stern bantam with a clipboard is organizing her 99 fellow chickens into search teams assigned to specific blocks in the search grid. As she hands out flashlights and whistles she reminds the searchers that the leopard is a zoo-based critter and likely scared to be out in the wilds. The big cat might present as aggressive, so whoever finds the leopard needs to speak in a calm and reassuring cluck, and call in the nearest leader. As trained social workers and victim advocates they can facilitate a peaceful re-entry into the zoo.

The 100 chickens could be cowboys on a round up. Yippee ki yay. Watch you don’t get run over in the stampede.

In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I did not read the entire article. I skimmed it. I know three leopards escaped from the Hangzhou Safari Park, and this leopard is the last holdout. But that’s it because, really, I just wanted to find out how those chickens were hunting the leopard.

As I said at the top, imagine, if you can, my disappointment to read that the chickens were turned loose as bait. Bait, they said. Bait turned loose to wander who knows where, which begs the question: Baiting the leopard into where? Into doing what?

Are the chickens just a gateway meat to lead the leopard into the dangerous world of poultry abuse. Will it end there? Are the potbelly pigs safe?


Secure the fainting goats before sundown at http://www.facebook.com/viewfromthenorth40 .


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