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Chapter 12
Consider the case of the female black leopard that escapedfrom the Zurich Zoo in the winter of 1933. She was new tothe zoo and seemed to get along with the male leopard. Butvarious paw injuries hinted at matrimonial strife. Before anydecision could be taken about what to do, she squeezedthrough a break in the roof bars of her cage and vanished inthe night. The discovery that a wild carnivore was free in theirmidst created an uproar among the citizens of Zurich. Trapswere set and hunting dogs were let loose. They only rid thecanton of its few half-wild dogs. Not a trace of the leopard wasfound for ten weeks. Finally, a casual labourer came upon itunder a barn twenty-five miles away and shot it. Remains ofroe-deer were found nearby. That a big, black, tropical catmanaged to survive for more than two months in a Swisswinter without being seen by anyone, let alone attackinganyone, speaks plainly to the fact that escaped zoo animals arenot dangerous absconding criminals but simply wild creaturesseeking to fit in.
And this case is just one among many. If you took the cityof Tokyo and turned it upside down and shook it, you wouldbe amazed at the animals that would fall out. It would pourmore than cats and dogs, I tell you. Boa constrictors, Komododragons, crocodiles, piranhas, ostriches, wolves, lynx, wallabies,manatees, porcupines, orang-utans, wild boar – that's the sortof rainfall you could expect on your umbrella. And theyexpected to find – ha! In the middle of a Mexican tropicaljungle, imagine! Ha! Ha! It's laughable, simply laughable. Whatwere they thinking?


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