Stark Cruelty

I will never, as long as I live, understand why people mistreat animals. Nothing makes my blood boil more. This story has horrified me.

A 75-year old flamingo was beaten by 4 teenagers at Adelaide Zoo in South Australia last week. He is recovering but still not eating. Read about him here.


Here’s the poor old fellow recovering in the hospital wing of Adelaide Zoo.

The attack on Greater, who is half blind and is thought to be one of the oldest flamingoes in the world, almost killed him. He suffered serious injury to his beak and head as well as concussion.

He has a 70-year old flamingo companion named Chilean, who has been pining for him.

Both of the birds are popular at the zoo and are easily accessible behind a knee high fence.

I am shocked that anyone would want to harm this lovely old gentleman.

The teenagers have been arrested and charged and will appear in court next month. They face the possibility of up to 4 years in jail.

Whoever your gods are, I ask you today to pray for this dear old soul. A gentle, placid creature. May he recover and spend the rest of his life with his flamingo friend in peace.

For further information check out the Adelaide Zoo.

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24 thoughts on “Stark Cruelty

  1. I am speechless. I honestly thought that kind of crap only happened in America. It took the sacrifice of a gentle donkey to finally get some decent laws into place to protect animals.

    Sending out healing energy and I hope he recovers from his ordeal. On the other hand, I certainly hope those monsters that beat him get exactly what they deserve (and honestly? where are their parents? What are they doing in all this?).


  2. NAT – I just don’t get it, either. What pleasure is to be gained from doing that? I agree – 75! I’m not sure how long flamingos live for but that sounds like some kind of record!

    KAREN – their parents should be held accountable. It really is a disgrace. I cried when I read this. As I get older I get so affected by cruelty to animals. I’ve been thinking about the poor guy for days. I hope he recovers.


  3. Ms. Karen — I love you to death, but evil is universal…why would it only happen in America? 🙂

    Selma– I cannot fathom HOW people can be cruel to animals. It’s heinous.


  4. I cannot read or digest any more stories of animal cruelty. I absolutely cannot.Not right now, even though I feel as if I’m running away. What do we? What do we do?


  5. Hi Selma,
    As you know I live in Adelaide and when this was first reported the outrage was palpable. Once again it was the minority reflecting the inhumanity of humanity, not the majority.
    Greater will certainly be on my mind tonight, as for the perpetrators, its obvious, they’re OUT of THEIR MINDS, this act bears no relationship to sanity whatsoever, none, ‘zippo’, nought, nil, zero, ad infinitum.
    Sorry Selma, I can’t put a smiley face on this one, its far too sad.


  6. I’m nauseous and tears are streaming down my face. Such viciousness.
    The fact that those who torture and/or kill animals often move on to killing humans is as sickening. Both are precious gifts in our world.
    (Found you from other poetry blogs.)


  7. That’s terrible. Poor darling, I hope he’s okay. I try to steer clear of too much negative news these days, so I hadn’t heard about this, and I won’t be clicking the link.


  8. There truly are no words. Such emotional bankruptcy is devastating to look squarely in the face. And yet we must, or it will continue. Bless you for posting this. My prayers are already sent. May the highest good be served in this as in all things. We are one. Each form of life a wave sprung from the same ocean of universal consciousness. May each day bring more souls to this realization.


  9. I will pray for Greater. I will also pray for the criminals, as they may grow up to do this to a homeless person or a child. often this form of barbarism is perpetrated on the weaker sort.


  10. That’s just sick. Mob mentality is abominable. As there were four there to egg each other on, that’s what I think this was – I highly doubt they would have done this had they been by themselves. Will do the praying.


  11. Hi Selma,
    What Kayt said is beautiful.
    Now, on a positive note. Today is Adelaide’s Christmas Pageant Day and one of the radio stations here is trying to create a world record Mexican Wave with 300,000 people for the biggest and longest ‘Wave’.
    And guess what, a large percentage of that number will be children, there is still hope, there is always hope, all we have to do is ‘apply’ it.


  12. DESPERATEWRITER – evil IS universal. It’s awful, isn’t it? Karen was being kind to us Aussies when she said that, but sadly, brutality occurs the world over. I will never understand it.

    L’URAGANO – I can’t cope any more, either. I get myself in a real state about it. However, I take heart from the number of people who actually really do care and want to help animals the world over. In helping them, we help ourselves. All is not lost, I firmly believe that.

    CHRIS – it is sad, I agree. You do wonder what drives people to commit an act like that, don’t you? I can’t get my head around it.

    GEL – I completely agree and I felt sick when I first heard about it too. It’s just not right. It’s so kind of you to visit. Thank you.

    DAOINE – don’t you dare click that link. Not in your condition. According to Adelaide Zoo hundreds of thousands of people have responded to this story with offers of help. People really do care. The scumbags are in the minority.

    CRAFTY GREEN – I hope the poor guy recovers soon. Apparently, one of the perpetrators was 19. You wonder if he’ll ever develop a sense of decency if he’s doing that at 19. Horrendous, unforgivable behaviour.

    KAYT – I think that’s one of the things I find so upsetting about these types of stories – the emotional bankruptcy component. It’s alarming to come across people who are lacking in moral development. I’ve met a few in my time and it chilled me. Very well said, my dear!

    LINDA – I just don’t know. People like you and me and everyone else here are horrified by this. What is lacking in these kids that they are not? It’s scary.

    PUNATIK – I know. It’s a terrible thing. I used to see it when I was teaching. The worst bullies were those who were bullied themselves. They wanted to lash out at everyone and everything. It seemed to make them feel more powerful by taunting and tormenting something or someone they perceived as weaker than themselves. It’s a horrible, vicious cycle.

    TEXASBLU – you have hit the nail on the head. I doubt they would have done this on their own, either. Thanks for the prayers, hon.

    CHRIS – I agree. Kayt rules! I love the sound of the Wave. It’s not the same since they’ve banned it at the cricket. I am doing the wave right now. You are right. There is always hope!


  13. Reading Chris’s comment (ie, about there still being hope) reminded me of a heart-warming story I actually did see on the news a couple of weeks ago. There is a prison in Darwin where they have set up a shelter for injured wildlife and the prisoners are trained to assist in the rehabilitation of these animals. The particular story was of a sea eagle who was ready to be released back into the wild and the prisoner who had had the responsibility of getting the bird ready for release. I think such a programme is an absolutely excellent idea; not only giving prisoners a very useful skill, but also the empathy and awareness of other creatures, and hope for themselves.


  14. I couldn’t comment when I first read this post. I had to log off and cry for twenty minutes. God knows I won’t be reading the actual newspaper article, or I’ll be having nightmares for a week.

    A friend of mine used to make fun of me because I was so much more deeply affected by an animal suffering than human. I will admit that that can be the case. Animals are at our whim. We are responsible for their well-being. Period. I hate to hear of suffering of any kind, but when an animal is subjected to pain at our hands… Let me just say that even if those teens had been football players, and I had witnessed what they were doing, I’d probably be in the hospital too — but not before subjecting at least one of them, preferably the ringleader, to some serious bodily injury.

    Constantly sending light, love and prayers to that beautiful bird.


  15. DAOINE – that is just fantastic. It serves a dual purpose – rehabilitating both the animals and the prisoners. I love things like this. So important. Thanks so much for letting me know about it. What an inspiring story.

    EPIPHANY – I am the same as you. For a few days after I heard about it I couldn’t bring myself to find out if he was alive or dead. I do think how we treat animals is a measure of our character. This was such an upsetting story for me. I would have been right behind you in giving those kids the old ‘what for.’ I hope the dear fellow recovers completely.


  16. That is truly horrible. These teenagers need dealing with. Children who torture animals often move on to sadistic behaviour towards other humans when they are adults.

    When I lived in London (20 years ago!) there were Rheas (like little ostrichs) in Holland Park. But someone killed them all. I think they set dogs on them or something. I couldn’t go back in there after that.

    Too too horrible.


  17. I saw this headline and deliberately did not read the story when it hit the news. But I’m glad to see the pictures you posted — he looks better than I would have expected.

    Why? Why? Why? What conscienceless rage is in these four young men? What else are they capable of?

    So sad that the bird would be hurt — and even sadder that young people could live and think in a way that this seemed the thing to do.


  18. RELUCTANT – that is horrible about the Rheas. I would have had a hard time going back in there too. There really is no need for that type of thing. It makes me so sad.

    LIFEPUNDIT – I know. It’s terrible. The good news is that now he is eating and putting on weight again. I am so relieved!

    MELEAH – I know, hon. Sometimes certain things just make me shake my head. Finding the words is difficult.


  19. I have always been terribly effected by animal cruelty and I guess it hit home even more because it happened in my own town. You wonder what kinds of thought processes go through these people’s heads, if anything. Unfortunately, as much as these kids deserve to be punished, and they really do, they will learn even more heinous things while they’re inside. That’s the conundrum that is sometimes faced when dishing out justice in our society. That poor old bird…to be subjected to such cruelty just breaks my heart.


  20. ROMANY ANGEL – that’s the problem, isn’t it? How to undo the behaviour that leads to this type of cruelty. People need to feel compassion and empathy to avoid maltreatment of animals (and humans). I don’t think they learn that in jail. It really is a vicious cycle.


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