Society & Culture & Entertainment Society & Culture Misc

Cougars And Thoroughbreds - What"s The Difference?

Last week, the runner up in the Kentucky Derby, a filly named Eight Belles, had to be euthanized after breaking both front legs following her second place finish.
Several days before, a wild cougar found roaming the streets of Chicago was shot and killed by the police.
One would think the public outcry over both events would be equally strong, but such was not the case.
After the cougar was shot and its body shown on TV as much as Britney's latest meltdown, the response was immediate.
How dare the police shoot this innocent animal, they cried.
They should have used a tranquilizer gun and sent the magnificent beast back to its habitat, they wailed.
Oh, the outrageous indignation of it all.
The cat took on the aura of celebrity, like hearing that Tom Cruise was in town.
Of course Chicago cops don't carry tranquilizer darts on their belts.
Not only that, an animal doesn't drop into a deep sleep immediately.
It can take, as I understand it, up to 20 minutes for the drugs to kick in.
Even if it only takes a few seconds, that still may be too long if the animal is angry or scared enough and decides to attack.
The police erred when they didn't address that issue immediately.
They should have sent out press releases, gone on TV, etc.
and told all that to the public, although it may not have mattered much.
Why let the facts get in the way of a good moral outrage? By the time they explained it, though, it was too late.
What I found striking and not a little disturbing was that when the horse was put down after the race, no one said anything.
Where were the shrieks of the animal rights police then, PETA notwithstanding? Why was it so wrong to shoot a wild cougar who may have been on the attack, although no one seems to know, but was okay to kill a horse with a couple of broken bones? I know little about horses and less about cougars, but I'm sure that trainers and owners don't take lightly the ending of an animal's life.
You don't want to lose a creature that may be worth millions just because that's the way it's always been done, not to mention the personal attachments involved.
It has to be a horrible, agonizing decision.
I assume that veterinary science is working diligently to find a way to save a horse whenaccidents like this happen.
One would think that eventually a solution will be found that will spare a horse's life, allowing it to retire, as it were, to the pasture and companionship of others.
So why didn't the public, in all its apparently vast knowledge of animal behavior, complain? Could it be that horses are less important or so plentiful that knocking one off is no big deal? Is it because the cougar is like an exotic mystical creation of mythic proportions? Or are we, as a society, so consumed by the trappings of celebrity that we don't see what's really happening around us? The cougar story has now faded, the void to be filled by the next breathtaking tabloid worthy assignation.
The horse story barely made a blip.
The deaths of both animals is tragic, of course.
Could they have been avoided? I don't know and unless you were there, you don't either.
And let's not even get started on the human beings that were killed on those two days.

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