The Boat-Sinking Orcas Are Only the Beginning
THE SHIP-HUNTING orcas of the Iberian coast—about whom the orca-aware readers of Indignity were warned in August of last year—have made it into the national news lately, thanks to reports that they have refined their naval assault techniques to the point of sinking three different vessels. The most recent sinking, of a Swiss yacht named Champagne, happened May 4. A trio of two young orcas and an adult female reportedly ripped the rudder off the vessel and left holes in the hull, overwhelming emergency pumps and sending the Champagne to the bottom outside the Andalusian port of Barbate.
While Indignity welcomes this new awareness of the threat posed by the brilliant and malicious orcas, we caution our readers that the animal kingdom is not restricting itself to marine warfare. Even if you do not plan on sailing the waters off Spain or Portugal, this month has brought plenty of other animal-on-human violence. A quick survey:
May 6: A bobcat attacked an unspecified person in Monson, Massachusetts, according to police there.
May 10: A bird of unknown type attacked a woman's head from behind, leaving open scratch wounds on her scalp, while she was jogging in Raleigh, North Carolina.
May 10: A young mountain lion attacked an 11-year-old girl in a chicken coop in Buena Vista, Colorado, by swatting the victim in the cheek, apparently after being startled while raiding the coop.
May 14: A bear was suspected of attacking and killing a fisherman at Lake Shumarinai in Hokkaido, Japan, after the bear was seen with waders in its mouth and a human head was found nearby.
May 14: A coyote attacked a six-year-old girl, biting her legs, in Burnaby, Canada.
May 14: A Canada goose attacked a bicyclist who was taking video of it and its goslings in Moncton, Canada.
May 14: A common buzzard attacked a runner in Angus, Scotland, leaving six bloody wounds on the back of his head.
May 15: A hippopotamus attacked and capsized a canoe full of people in Malawi, killing a baby and leaving 23 people missing.
May 15: Bees attacked two people, including a police volunteer, in Encino, Los Angeles, with a news helicopter capturing the scene on live TV.
May 16: Bees, reportedly identified as Africanized honeybees, attacked a man and his neighbor's dog, in Perris, California, delivering a fatal dose of more than 700 stings to the dog, after the man, having "watched a couple YouTube videos" for guidance, tried to remove their hive himself.
May 18: A bull shark attacked a spearfisherman, biting the 20-year-old twice in the leg on a dive some 70 feet underwater in the Florida Keys.
May 20: Honeybees attacked two men in Iowa Park, Texas, stinging them "dozens of times," after one of the men reportedly disturbed a hive while mowing the lawn.
May 21: An alligator, measured at 10 1/2 feet long, attacked a 23-year-old man in a pond behind a bar in Fort Myers, Florida, costing the victim an arm.
May 21: A shark reportedly attacked a teenage surfer's foot in the waters off Stone Harbor, New Jersey.
May 22: A black bear attacked a toddler and a five-year-old in Wright Township, Pennsylvania, causing minor injuries.
New York City, May 22, 2023
★★★★ The rising sun was orange and the high smoke still faded the blue of the sky. Low in the west, a few distant cumulus clouds showed what real clouds looked like. The midday sun was thinned out. The air was just warm, easy to walk around in. A garbage smell was blooming on St. Nicholas Ave. Leaves were stuck to the mostly installed astroturf inside the school’s construction fence. Wads and tangles of silly string in assorted colors lay on the lawn where it bypassed the work zone on the path through Morningside Park. Eyes lifted from the trudge up the stairs met sunlit magenta roses.
VISUAL CONSCIOUNESS DEP’T.
Blast Off Retro, Salem, OR
More consciousness at Instagram.
EASY LISTENING DEP’T.
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"the bear was seen with waders in its mouth and a human head was found nearby": Saving something in the larder for later, eh?
"A coyote attacked a six-year-old girl, biting her legs, in Burnaby, Canada.": I live in a different suburb of Vancouver. Coyote attacks were all the rage around here a couple of years ago; there was one in my suburb, and there were lots in Stanley Park, a large and surprisingly wild park in central Vancouver. Last year was pretty quiet, but maybe the coyotes are making a comeback. The same week as that attack in Burnaby, there was an attack on a toddler in Port Coquitlam, which is yet another suburb of Vancouver.
"A hippopotamus attacked and capsized a canoe full of people": Hippopotami are notoriously dangerous, more so than popular African carnivores like lions and leopards.
A misanthrope might say all this is no more than we have coming to us for laying waste to the planet.