Animal Stories

Meow wow wow!
Meow wow wow!
Before we begin I’d like to remind everyone that tomorrow is the last day of International Clitoris Week. If you haven’t done so already go and find a clitoris and show it how much you appreciate it. There’s still two weeks left in National Masturbation Month so there’s no need to rush for that one. That’s right, just take it slow and easy. Yeah, just like that, Jake from State Farm. Our female readers are welcome to combine the two holidays. The more creative male readers may make a game attempt as well. I think that it is holidays like this that help bring people together. They cut across all cultural lines. After all, you have everything you need to make someone happy right under your clothes. Unless you’re reading this while naked, in which case you’ve got a head start. Oh sure, the May-Sturbation holiday was started by an adult toy store, but that doesn’t mean you need to bust out one red cent to celebrate. So go, cum and be happy.

Now, on to the news of the day.

Paul Templar, no relation to the Knights, was a tour guide in Africa. for some reason he thought it would be fun to see what the inside of a hippo looked like. He found out. It looks, and smells, like death.

“There was a terrible, sulphurous smell, like rotten eggs, and a tremendous pressure against my chest,” Paul Templer said, recalling the moment he realized he had been swallowed by a hippopotamus.

At the time, Templer was 27, a river guide taking groups of tourists down the Zambezi river near Victoria Falls, along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

His near-death story appeared in The Guardian’s “Experience” series on Friday and has since grabbed headlines around the world.

Templer, now living in Michigan, wrote in The Guardian that he knew the hippo — his attempted murderer — as a “grouchy old two-ton bull” that lurked in the stretch of river the tours traversed.

Hippos are a common sight above the falls, according to PBS. The massive mammals, which can weigh up to 8,000 pounds, can spend the majority of the daylight hours submerged to keep cool, reports National Geographic. Fast sprinters and strong swimmers, they can also hold their breath for several minutes, as Templer found out on that March day in 1996.

“I remember looking up through 10 feet of water at the green and yellow light playing on the surface, and wondering which of us could hold his breath the longest,” he wrote in The Guardian. “Blood rose from my body in clouds, and a sense of resignation overwhelmed me. I’ve no idea how long we stayed under — time passes very slowly when you’re in a hippo’s mouth.”

The hippo’s teeth savaged Templer’s chest and left arm. But he told The Chicago Tribune in an earlier interview that he still counts himself very lucky.

“I went straight down his throat. It smelled like death,” Templer said in the Tribune. And yet, when the hippo “bit into my lungs he missed my heart. He missed my liver and kidneys.”

Although Templer carried a .357-caliber Magnum firearm, he told the Tribune he never got a chance to pull it. After repeated bites, Templer managed to get ashore, but his wounds included a bite so deep it revealed part of his lung.

“Out there in the wild, we were the intruders,” Templer explains in a YouTube video titled “A Bad Day at the Office,” which recounts the harrowing event.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, his left arm crushed and stripped of flesh, Templer recalls a strange feeling of calm come over him.

“All the pain went away, and I knew that it was my moment of choice,” he says in the video. “I could shut my eyes, I could drift off, I could call it a day, or I could fight my way through this and I could stick around. … The pain was so intense I thought for sure I was going to die. And then when I didn’t, there were moments that I wished that I would, just to escape that excruciating agony.”

Hours of surgery later, Templer survived. He went on to a successful career as a motivational speaker, author and founder of a charitable foundation supporting disabled and terminally ill children in Michigan and southern Africa.

While Templer got away from his attacker, thousands of others have been less fortunate. According to Discovery, hippos are considered the deadliest animal in Africa.

Every year, unfortunate tourists and even beauty queens are reported mauled or killed by hippos. In 2011, a particularly tragic incident involved 40-year-old farmer who was killed in South Africa by a 5-year-old hippo he had rescued and tried to domesticate.

There is a scene at the beginning of the novel River God where an Egyptian prince and his barge go hunting hippos. The scene is almost hyper-violent. That is because even ancient Egyptians knew that hippos were not to be messed with.

At the end of the scene they ate the hippo.

Actually, in general, that’s a very good way to deal with predatory animals.

Ryan Gougeon agrees with me which is why his restaurant serves lion tacos.

Lion tacos, anyone? You won’t find them at a Florida restaurant, which sold out of the controversial item despite a backlash that included online threats.

Taco Fusion in Tampa, Fla. offered lion as a taco filling alongside its other exotic offerings, which include bison, shark, ostrich, gator, gazelle, rabbit, duck, camel and kangaroo. Iguana, bear and zebra will be on the menu in the future, writes local CBS affiliate WTVY.

Owner Ryan Gougeon told NBC affiliate WFLA that selling the meat is well within his rights. “Just because someone at home doesn’t want it, doesn’t mean a hundred other people don’t,” he said. “And America is still free and we are still allowed to provide services that people want.”

Taco Fusion further defends the serving of lion in an undated blog post on its web site:

Paranoia has set in as some folks have had their reality challenged. They say that we’ve “crossed the line” by serving Lion. But let me ask you this, did you cross the line when you ate Beef, chicken, or Pork this week? … Are you a vegan, who consumed vegetables this week? Were those vegetables sprayed with pesticides, and picked by illegal Mexican migrant labor that is exploited for low wages, long hours, and no benefits?

Activists for big cat preservation have expressed outrage over the menu item. When the controversy first struck, Big Cat Rescue’s Jeff Kremer told WFLA that he hoped Taco Fusion would remove the item from the menu. “[T]hey are still going to exploit other creatures or sell them for a novelty, but you have to draw the line somewhere and the time to speak up is right now.”

In a post that has since been removed, Taco Fusion announced it would no longer serve lion meat. Gougeon allegedly began receiving online threats after the restaurant announced the promotion. But those threats didn’t stop the lion tacos from selling out, nor did the price — a pound of lion meat costs about $220, which breaks down to about $35 a taco.

Despite the controversy, some Taco Fusion patrons were clearly enthused by the offering. The Tampa Tribute spoke with a customer, Frankie Consoli, who described the meat as “a bit tougher than steak” with a strong red-meat flavor and a “gamey” finishing note.

“Man it’s delicious,” he told the paper. “I heard everyone hating on them on Facebook about this place serving lion, so I thought I’d come check it out. Where else are you going to get that chance?”

Relax people, he’s not clubbing baby seals or selling endangered species. There are butchers all over the U.S. that sell lion and other exotic meats. Yes, you can order lion if you click that link.

You can also get Alpaca.

The point is that if people are willing to shell out $35 a pop to eat a taco then he should be allowed to take their money.

Of course, he is in Florida, land of the double standard. If he wanted it to be cool and socially acceptable he’d have served it in a techno club.

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