I suppose it must have been some thirty years ago now. A very large mature Hamadryas Baboon escaped from his cage due to a 'keeper omission'. He was a magnificent beast, a beautiful bouncy cape and long sharp canines some four inches long. 'Johnny' (that was his name) was not renowned for his friendly personality and outside the realm of the familiar he was irritated and dangerous. There were visitors in the zoo and the situation could in an instant easily develop into a tragedy. Darting in such instances is not a realistic option so I shot and killed him. I did it because I had to. I hated doing it and in spite of the passage of time I remember it as if it were yesterday. At the time I had mentally explored the possible alternatives available without there being risk to someones life and limb. There were none but even now I visit the situation in my head and wonder if I could have done something else. Other than using this story in teaching situations I have not talked about it because it still disturbs me. I liked 'Johnny', I respected him and through the wire he was a friend.
Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davelau/
Sadly I was appalled by his recent and totally unnecessary shooting of a baboon.
You can read on by clicking here:
It is yet another of those sad reflections on. Kill to see what it feels like. Maybe he will feel sorry about it later.