As you may remember from middle school Social Studies, people of the Hindu faith consider cows to be sacred, believing that each part of the animal corresponds to a deity.
The Skanda Vale temple and Hindu community in West Wales has a small herd of holy cows in residence, where they are revered as beloved members of the spiritual family and are waited on hand and foot.
Unfortunatetly, Shambo, a black Friesian bull living in Skanda Vale, tested positive for tuberculosis in April of 2007. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ordered him killed in order to prevent the spread of TB to other livestock in the area. This pissed the normally-passive Skanda Vale community right the hell off, and they threatened to form a protective human chain around the bull.
As is usually the case with protective human chains, the side with an army prevailed. Hindu temple leaders from around the world petitioned for mercy, and even made the offer to ship Shambo back to India to treat him with Bovine TB medication, but since the meds were approved in India and not the UK, the government declined.
On July 26 of 2007, Shambo was executed. Tensions between India and the UK were strained which, after centuries of colonialism, is saying something. Shortly thereafter, two more bulls (that later tested negative for TB) were killed presumably because the BBC informed them the list of "terrible things the British have done to India" was getting a little stale.
Through the ages, people all over the world have shared one passion: shooting large animals to death for no reason. The Bavarians were such great fans of murdering great toothy beasts that they shot all of their wild brown bears to death over 170-years ago, which is why folks were rather surprised when one started tooling around the Alpine border between Germany and Austria.
Bruno the Bear was first spotted in May of 2006 and caused an immediate sensation in Germany, "killing dozens of sheep, ransacking honey farms and venturing into chicken stalls." Basically, exactly the same sort of shenanigans you'd expect from a smarter-than-average bear.
Bruno's ballsiest move might have been the time he waltzed right into a Bavarian village and sat down in front of the police station. The government decided enough was enough and sent in a special Bear Patrol squad, made up of Finnish bear-hunters, dogs and wildlife experts. They tracked Bruno for two weeks solid, but after 14 days and $157,000 they weren't any closer to catching him.
Roland Melisch of the World Wildlife Fund called Bruno a "problem bear" but urged a live-and-let-live approach to the situation. Among other things, he suggested putting electric fences around beehives to keep Bruno out, totally ignoring the fact that giving bees access to electricity will only speed up the rate at which they threaten our dominance on Earth.
Predictably, the government ignored the pleas of the environmentalists and put out a "shoot to kill" order on Bruno. Shortly thereafter, hunters shot him to death and started making plans to stuff his body and put it in a museum.
That's when things got ridiculous. Apparently, Bruno was actually an Italian citizen who had accidentally wandered out of a wildlife refuge in Trento. Rome started a diplomatic row, demanding the return of Bruno's carcass to his homeland. The Germans refused and the disagreement goes on to this day, while Bruno's stuffed body waits for a decision in the Museum of Man and Nature in Munich, having lost interest in the whole affair back around the time he was shot to death.
For more animals that raised a ruckus, check out The 5 Creepiest Serial Killers (Who Were Animals) and 5 Of The Greatest Escape Artists Ever (Were Animals).
And stop by Linkstorm to see the origins of the Pink Panther.
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