Monday, July 10, 2006

Animal of the Week July 10, 2006 -- World Cup Nations 5 Italy are the Champions

Hey Kids,

I so nearly chose some form of headbutting goat as French AOTW last week, gutted that I didn't, pah! I loved Zidane's caprine charge, much more graceful than the jolting Glasgow kiss with which we are more familiar in modern times. Not that I watched the match you understand... oh no.

Well, that's football done for another 4 years. And as the World Cup wings its way to Italy, this week's Animal is in memory of another item that will hopefully be returning to the boot of Europe, JJ1 (Bruno the bear). The 2-year-old member of the subspecies Ursos arctos arctos (European brown bear) was born in Italy in the Adamello-Brenta natural park of the Trentino, South Tyrol, region of northern Italy, but had a somewhat less successful trip to Germany than the Italian football team.

The return of a bear to Germany after a 170 year absence of the species was initially heralded as a landmark event in the repopulation of Europe by bruins. The bear's stereotypical behaviour delighted me, the first report I read had him raiding a beehive for the honey. I was awaiting the news that he had been witnessed pilfering pickernick baskets. Although he did frustrate the local rangers for a while, he fatally moved onto a diet of sheep, rabbits, chickens, goats, and a for dessert a guinea pig, and from then on started to rankle German authorities. Brown bears can kill a cow with a single blow of a paw, outrun a horse, and swim faster than an Olympic swimmer. Farmers were upset by loss of stock, and people worried that Bruno's apparent lack of fear of humans could pose a threat to people as he came into close proximity with them. Attempts to capture him alive so that he could be relocated failed, Bruno evaded capture for several weeks. Finally the authorities declared open season on the ursine marauder and he was shot at the end of June. At the Italy vs Germany semifinal, fans waved banners calling for revenge for Bruno. Italy have now asked for JJ1's body to be sent back, although the most recent reports said that the plan was to stuff the 2 m animal and install it in a museum in Bavaria.

Over the past 10 years, Italy has had some success in reintroducing this majestic predator to some regions and, along with Slovenia and Austria, is helping to re-establish populations of bears throughout the south-central Alps -- not to be confused with the "bears" of South Central, Vauxhall.

Not really a happy story for Bruno, but perhaps this episode will encourage people in Germany and elsewhere to consider how they might one day live side by side with bears as they recolonise Europe. The species has begun to make a comeback in France and Switzerland as well. Whatever, the North Sea and English channel should keep me safe from the advances of the bears...


At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, "The King and I", and "The Catcher in the Rye"

Eisenhower, vaccine, England's got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Josef Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, dacron
Dien Bien Phu and "Rock Around the Clock"

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team
Davy Crockett, "Peter Pan", Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, "Peyton Place", trouble in the Suez


Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, "Bridge on the River Kwai"

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide

Buddy Holly, "Ben-Hur", space monkey, Mafia
hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, "Psycho", Belgians in the Congo


Hemingway, Eichmann, "Stranger in a Strange Land"
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs Invasion

"Lawrence of Arabia", British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex
JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say


Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon, back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline
Ayatollolah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

"Wheel of Fortune" , Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law
Rock and Roller Cola Wars, I can't take it anymore


We didn't start the fire
But when we are gone
Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on...

At 8:54 AM, Blogger animaloftheweek said...

One of my favourite songs which are also lists. Many thanks.


Post a Comment

<< Home