July 3, 2002

This Otter Get Your Goat

I don't know which of these two news stories is weirder.

The first comes out of Florida, where a strange apparition has a certain segment of the population making a pilgrimage to honour it.

No, it's not a nativity scene in some guy's refrigerator mould; it's not a cabbage upon which an image of Mother Theresa appears if you look at it cross-eyed.
It's not even a potato bearing an uncanny resemblance to Truman Capote.

It's a goat.

A four month old female goat with a white number "3" on her side.

This newspaper article has a photo of said goat.

"It's weird," said her owner... "I've seen people take pictures and get tears in their eyes."
..."One woman said 'Man, she gives me chills,'"

Now I suppose the "3" could have been put there artificially but the owner claims otherwise and why wouldn't I believe him?

Some of you (obviously out of touch with popular American culture) may still be asking, what's so special about the number "3"?

Silly... it's the late auto racer Dale Earnhardt's number!

Now I don't for a minute mean to make light of the tragedy of his death. But a goat with a "3" birthmark a religious experience?

Er, no.. more like a marketing opportunity:

Although she was born on a meat and dairy farm, Lil' Dale (the goat) likely has a career in advertising.
"How couldn't she be something to NASCAR or auto racing?"
(her owner) asked. "All you have to do is put an oil can in front of her and it'll sell."

As if that weren't enough for one day, this story came to my attention:

Xenophobic otters.

I kid you not.. I could never make this up! Even Alvin couldn't make this up!

It seems some animal sanctuary in Scotland brought in a couple of young Canadian otters (there's a band name - the Canadian Otters!) as "attractions".
Unfortunately, what the otters attracted was the attention of local free-range otters who, according to the report, feel threatened by the Canadians' "foreign accents" and unfamiliar scent.

"Because of the differences in the sounds they make, it will be difficult for these Canadian otters to communicate with the native ones...
"There is no doubt that dropping two foreign otters in to the territory of wild locals would be incredibly disruptive...
"It is an invasion of their territory that they will not take kindly to."

So the newcomers are on 24 hour guard and their keepers are considering erecting an electric fence.

What I want to know is... why didn't the scientists and animal psychology experts see this coming? And why import otters when they obviously have a good supply right there?

Maybe Canadian otters are prettier... like our famous beavers.

Just a thought.

Linque Du Jour:   Chickens of the World
we want to prove that every country in the world has at least one live chicken in it

These people (?) are collecting photographs of chickens; the aim is to have a photo of a chicken from every country in the world.

So far they're up to nine:

  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Denmark
  • Guatemala
  • Italy
  • Kenya
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
Certain countries are overwhelmingly conspicuous by their absence here, so get on out there and submit your chickens!
(I must have taken a photo of a chicken at some point in my life.. why doesn't my photo drawer have a "find" feature??)

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