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Iraq To Kill Zoo Boars

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 2nd, 2009

Have some people lost all reasoning? Who will speak up for the innocent animals mowed down in this hysteria?

In this photo taken Monday, April 27, 2009, people feed a boar at the Baghdad Zoo, Iraq. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

The Baghdad Zoo is a zoological collection located in Baghdad, Iraq, in the Al Zawraa Gardens area, which also includes the Zawraa Amusement Park and Zawraa Tower. It once housed 650 animals of an unspecific smaller number of species. Many were killed in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Out of the original 650 animals in the Baghdad Zoo only 35 survived to the eighth day after the American invasion, and these tended to be larger animals. Several lions escaped from the abandoned zoo, and were rounded up by American soldiers in armored fighting vehicles.

The zoo and surrounding park reopened to the public on July 20, 2003, following improvements and renovations by US Army engineers and featured 86 animals, including 19 surviving lions.

Now Iraq has announced it will kill three wild boars (Sus scrofa) in the Baghdad Zoo to “ward off the new flu sweeping the globe,” officials said, despite experts’ advice that people are spreading the virus, not pigs, reports Reuters.

Dr. Ihsan Jafar, who heads Iraq’s committee on what the World Health Organisation calls influenza A (H1N1) but is widely known as swine flu, said on Friday, May 1st that a request was sent to Baghdad municipality to cull the hogs as soon as possible.

“It is…possible the disease could be spread by eating pork, so we banned hunting wild boars,” regional health minister Abdul Rahman Osman (incredibly) said. Most Iraqis are Muslim and do not eat pork, but a Christian minority does.

Iraq has registered no cases of the flu, which global health experts say derives from a swine influenza but has not been found in pigs.

In an effort to halt misinformation linking the virus to pigs, the World Health Organisation (WHO) renamed it Influenza A on Thursday. It has consistently said the disease cannot be caught from eating pork if it is prepared properly.

Still, Egypt on Thursday started seizing and slaughtering herds of pigs as precaution against the flu in a campaign the United Nations called a “real mistake”.

In Egypt, even the editor of a pro-government newspaper criticized the order to slaughter the estimated 300,000 pigs, which was pushed by parliament and issued by the government.

“Killing (pigs) is not a solution, otherwise, we should kill the people, because the virus spreads through them,” wrote Abdullah Kamal of the daily Rose El-Youssef. “The terrified members of parliament should have concentrated on asking the government first about the preventive measures and ways of confronting the problem.”

Many accused the Egyptian government of not taking precautions when bird flu first appeared in Asia in 2003. When the first case appeared in Egypt in 2006, the government carried out mass bird culls (25 million birds within a few weeks), but the disease has killed more than two dozen people since.

Meanwhile, back in Iraq, on the newest flu outbreak…

“We know this virus is spreading by human to human transmission but we can’t say ‘don’t take these secondary measures’, which any country in the world would take,” Jafar said, defending the planned boar slaughter.

(Reuters reporting credited to Aseel Kami and Tim Cocks, with editing by Richard Meares from Iraq; AP’s Tarek El-Tablawy from Egypt.)

:-) Thank You.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


9 Responses to “Iraq To Kill Zoo Boars”

  1. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    It’s ridiculous to hear about these animals killed because their name ties them to this sickness. I realize that the concept of a new and deadly strain of anything can be scary but the point of hysteria that everyone is reaching is ridiculous.

    Egypt! Send your dead pigs my way; bacon is expensive and I’d love it for breakfast!

  2. wolfatrest responds:

    Well, at least I’m glad to know that not only politicians here in the U.S. of America are idiots. This is what comes from people in power doing things because they think it makes them look good instead of doing things that actually DO good for the people they are supposed to represent and protect.

  3. imzuf responds:

    What do you suppose they would do if we had a pandemic of German Measles?

  4. red_pill_junkie responds:

    So sad to read that the animals of the Baghdad keep suffering out of unsubstantiated fears.

  5. Foxfier responds:

    The Egyptian pig slaughter probably has more to do will removing the primary food source of their largest Christian minority than with fighting the flu….

    As for this, typical politician– do something, anything, that looks good.

  6. korollocke responds:

    I was there during the invasion with 1-64.

    I remember going there and petting the cheetahs. This was something that scared my sergeants; they thought I was suicidal! The cheetahs were just big exotic kittens, really gentle, and raised in palaces.

    The tiger was a beautiful sight. I was 4 inches from the most beautiful killing machine I have ever seen; those green eyes were hypnotic.

    The funniest thing I saw there was a gold dog that lived with a pride of lion cubs they had been raised together. The most surprising was a a bear from nothern Iraq. A young boy went in the cage and got it to come out for me. I nearly had heart failure thinking the youngster would be ripped to shreds.

  7. olejason responds:

    “Several lions escaped from the abandoned zoo, and were rounded up by American soldiers in armored fighting vehicles. ”

    This is somewhat false. Three lions were actually shot by American soldiers.

  8. tropicalwolf responds:

    With this philosophy, I suggest calling the next pandemic outbreak the “Hoaxer Flu”….maybe then, we can kill off all the hoaxers…

  9. archer1945 responds:

    I like tropicalwolf’s idea. How about instead of “Hoaxer’s Flu” we call it “Politician’s Flu”?



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