Written by Robert W. Armijo
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Topics: Zoo, PETA, Animal Rights, Knut

Saturday, 19 May 2007

image for 'Bokito' the 400-pound gorilla escapes Rotterdam Zoo; Critics say 'Knut' Controversy is to blame
"Do something cute like Knut, you say? I'll give you Knut, alright."

Amsterdam, Netherlands - After going on a wild rampage through the Rotterdam Zoo, sending holiday seekers in a panic, injuring four people, biting one woman in the forearm, smashing the glass to gain entrance to the quickly emptied grounds restaurant, police and zoo personnel finally subdued the beast on a terrace inside. Zookeepers admit that they do not know how the gorilla got out of his enclave but believe he bolted from it in a fit of jealousy and fear, which they claim is quite uncharacteristic for the usually tame, as far as 400-pound gorillas go, Bokito.

Witnesses reported someone in the crowd yelling out, 'Why don't you do something cute like Knut," just before Bokito escaped form his confine, apparently that is what set him off.

"It's all this talk in the media about little Knut that got him all upset," said Frank Gonzo, Bokito's caretaker. "He's just not used to that kind of pressure to be cute. He just can't. He's a 400-pound gorilla for goodness sake."

Capturing the hearts of millions, Knut the baby polar bear at the Berlin zoo has also started a heated debate between zookeepers, animal lovers and animal rights extremists as the reality of global warming hits. We have all seen photos of polar bears clinging to melting chunks of ice, struggling not to drown. As their habitat melts, it makes for a great photo-op, making them the ideal poster child for spreading the news about the real effects of global warming.

People come to the zoo expecting to see a bunch of cute and cuddly furry creatures and leave disappointed when they don't see a Knut like they are accustomed to on the evening news filler or human interest stories, animal rights activists argue. Claiming it's all for money and that the animal's welfare is actually not being considered at all.

But others take a more cynical view, pointing out that Bokito is not merely responding to the pressure to be cute but also possibly out of fear sensing the danger they now face from animal rights extremists.

"There was a time when animals had only to fear poachers in the wild," said zoo veterinarian Kurt Hume, "Now they have to fear animal rights extremists who want them euthanized in the urban zoo too."

Bokito will be held in interior confinement and not re-released into his enclave until zookeepers can figure out how he escaped, while they continue to debate the reason why. No special security measure have been taken to protect Bokito from animal rights extremists as they consider the danger posed only academic.

Meanwhile, zookeepers are praying for a baby panda to be born to bring zoo attendance back up. "That would be really great if we could get a baby panda bear. Then we could double our revenues easy," said the zoo's financial consultant. "Oh, but there's not too many of those left either. Maybe we could triple our revenues."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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