This Day in Death

5.28.16: Harambe the Endangered Gorilla – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:07 pm May 31, 2016


[Source: ibtimes]

Fun fact: The word ‘harambee’ is Swahili, and essentially means “to pull together in unity, as in a community.” If that makes you feel optimistic about the future of inter-species relations in the world, maybe stop reading here.


It’s another day in P.R. Hell for those giraffe-stranglers in the zoo industry, as a gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo was put down in a successful effort to rescue a three-year-old boy who had jumped into the pen. Witnesses say Harambe, an endangered western lowland gorilla, actually seemed to be taking care of the child when it first entered. I mean, like, in a paternal sense, not in the way a loan shark “takes care” of gambling debts. It’s a surprisingly gentle response from Harambe, although that kid probably didn’t have much money anyway.

Harambe supposedly only became aggressive when he heard the screams from the crowd, prompting authorities to resort to gunning down the animal. So basically a mother ape let her ape kid jump into the ape house, then a bunch of other apes started howling and freaked out another ape, and then some other apes with guns killed that ape to save the ape kid, and now a whole bunch of internet apes are fighting about it. When you really break it down it kinda just looks like nature doing that whole “circle of life” thing its always going on about.

Officials made the decision to shoot Harambe because the boy was in “imminent danger.” They feared a tranquilizer would take too long to kick in, and the dart may have agitated the gorilla.

“There was nobody getting that baby back from that gorilla — no one was taking him,” [witness Tangi] Hollifield said.

The killing has prompted a debate on whether keepers had to kill Harambe. Some point to past cases at zoos where officials had managed to retrieve people from gorillas without harming the primates.

An online petition seeking “justice for Harambe” through criminal charges has earned more than 162,000 signatures.

Obviously, this is a tragedy all around. No reasonable person wants to see anyone or anything die, but this gorilla needed to be put down. In fact, just to be safe, all gorillas need to be put down. As this horrific incident reminds us, they pose a legitimate threat to humanity’s most precious resource: Bamboo shoots. Did you know that, if left unchecked, the gorilla population will completely eliminate all bamboo by the year 4000? My annual backyard luau is gonna be a laughingstock without those tiki torches. And how is the cybernetic lobster body I will have downloaded my consciousness into supposed to make my kaeng tai pla? It’s, like, the premiere curry dish of southern Thailand! These dumb gorillas can’t even appreciate the subtle intermingling of eggplant and minced saba fish guts, what with their unsophisticated monkey palates and all. It’s like Jungle Jack Hanna always says; Gorillas are practically nature’s primates.

Speaking of intellectually-deficit societies, has anyone considered that maybe that kid was looking for a mercy kill when he realized he lived in Cincinnati? It’s generally accepted that, if you’re not out of Ohio by the time you’re three, pretty much the highest you can aim for is to be mopping up vomit in the diary aisle of the Dayton Piggly Wiggly until your heart explodes in your studio apartment at the end of a pointless and unfulfilling life. At least the gorilla thing would be suitably metal. That’s the kinda death you’re gonna wanna live to tell your grandkids about.

Whelp, that’s another controversial topic successfully skirted by pretending to be an idiot. I really can’t believe nobody’s called me out on this shit yet. A toast to the all-concealing veil of yellow journalism, may it never be torn asunder!


Source: CNN

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2.9.14: Marius the Giraffe – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:24 am February 10, 2014

Marius the giraffeI bet giraffes ask for handmade turtleneck sweaters for their birthdays a lot. It’s probably, like, their big joke.


Not to boast, but I’ve had a lot of hamsters and goldfish die on my watch over the years, which means I know a little bit about mortality in the animal world. So when Marius, a two-year-old giraffe in the Copenhagen Zoo, was deemed a ‘surplus’ animal and subsequently put down, my first thought was, “A giraffe… ? Oh! You must mean a long-necky turtlehorse.” But my second thought was, “Maybe this can serve as a step towards having a reasonable discussion about animal population control.” My third thought was about finding a loophole that would allow me to still qualify for the Toys “R” Us Birthday Club.

Unfortunately, it looks like any chance of that discussion happening can be promptly single-flushed due to the usual batch of chagrining protesters who get all death-threaty in defense of our most adorable animals.

Besides nearly 30,000 online signatures from those who did not want Marius killed, Copenhagen Zoo officials received death threats after they turned down adoption offers from other zoos, as well as a bid of 500,000 euros, or $682,000, from an individual who was willing to take Marius in.

So, since they turned down the money, protestors would have to accept that the decision wasn’t made out of greed, leaving the only remaining motivation they could attribute to the zoo to be… that they just really like killing giraffes. Like, in a borderline aphrodisiacal way. Look, if you wanna protest zoos on principle, fair enough. In fact, I support protesting anything that requires me to go through a turnstile to enter it. That’s how the government tracks you, you know. Plus, I have a very sensitive pelvic region. But this just seems like a particularly public instance of the kind of goosed population control that becomes necessary in a world that’s been thoroughly beaten into submission by the whims of human convenience.

It seems like the biggest boner here was the decision to perform the autopsy publicly, thereby resulting in a bunch of kids watching a giraffe’s ribcage get split open like a fuzzy walnut. It just comes off kinda dickish when you’re already trying to quell a public relations nightmare, but these zoologists don’t think like you and I do. I mean, who can dissect an animal they’ve already named? You’ve gotta be unbelievably left-brained to kill something you’ve ascribed a personality to. That’s why I’ve simply had to learn to coexist with Papa Stingmeister and the rest of the hornet’s nest that sprung up in my living room last year. We have our differences, but I’d be lying if I said I won’t be sad when they move out.

Also, they should’ve let Marius live long enough to grow to his full size. Besides it providing more meat, you just know those lions are gonna omit the part about it not being full-grown when they’re bragging to their friends about how they just ate “literally a whole giraffe.” Yeah, that’s technically true, lions, but you know it doesn’t really count like that.

Source: The NY Times

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11.27.13: Northern Darwin’s Frog – DEAD! Or “EXTINCT!,” I Guess.

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:17 am November 27, 2013

NORTHERN_DARWIN'S_FROGWell, at least we can rule out “being too handsome for nature” as a cause of death. YOU JUST GOT SLAMMED, YOU SLIMEY RHINODERMATID POINDEXTER! Actually, he died from a fungal disease called chytridiomycosis and we respectfully regret the loss.

You know, here at the TDiD we care about the environment, and also sometimes don’t have much to write about. Those two things seem to have a serious correlation going on, I should look into what that’s about. Anyway, when eco-guilt and barrel-scraping bodyslam each other we sometimes like to acknowledge that animals die, too. Oh sure, they may not be dying the romantic death of a wealthy, human-trafficking sheik who just got ambushed by a father out to rescue his abducted daughter amidst a hail of broken glass and catchphrases, but they’re out there dying pointless deaths just the same. Maybe they fell off a cliff because they’re stupid, or flew into a closed window because they’re moronic, or maybe they caught some weird fungal disease, like the Northern Darwin’s frog just did. Not very glamorous, but at least there’s some exclusivity to it; very few species have ever died out via infection. The last known example being, of course, the North American Spotted Herpes sheep. Yes, we all enjoyed kissing them at the petting zoo, but little did we know we were actually kissing them goodbye.

Chytrid disease, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been killing amphibians worldwide during the past two decades. An outbreak of the illness was first discovered in frogs in Queensland, Australia, in 1993, although it may have been present in other amphibian species for longer.

Fun fact: Male Darwin frogs keep their tadpoles in their vocal pouch until they’re old enough to jump out of the mouth and leave their father, probably to go backpacking through Europe and really “find themselves.” They’re the creepy nesting dolls of nature. Not that any of that matters anymore, since the Northern species is dead and the Southern is on the ropes. You probably should’ve appreciated them more while they were still around, like cargo shorts. Yes sir, not much you couldn’t carry with you in a good pair of cargo shorts. Your keys. Maybe some trail mix for later. Assorted coins. A small flashlight. A pair of sunglasses if you didn’t want to just hang them from the front of your shirt while you’re not wearing them. Probably one or two other things.

Source: National Geographic

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2.10.13: Lolong, the World’s Largest Saltwater Crocodile – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:05 am February 12, 2013

LOLONGAt what point can we just call it a fucking dinosaur? Nobody wants anything to be cool anymore.

If you’re still dragging your feet about booking that vacation to the Philippine town of Bunawan then I’ve got two pieces of bad news for you: 1.) You have awful vacation ideas, and 2.) you might as well not even bother anymore because Lolong, the 20-foot long crocodile that’s lived there for decades, is dead. With Lolong gone, Bunawan is expected to fall back on its next most popular tourist attractions; creepy Jesus paintings and contracting scabies. I think things are gonna turn out just fine for those guys.

Various religious groups offered prayers Monday and spiritual leaders also planned to perform a tribal funeral rite, which involves butchering chickens and pigs to thank forest spirits for the fame and other blessings the crocodile has brought, Elordie said.

The crocodile’s capture in September 2011 sparked celebrations in the town. It was caught with steel cable traps during a hunt prompted by the death of a child in 2009 and the later disappearance of a fisherman. Water buffalos have also been attacked by crocodiles in the area.

Yup, it straight up ate babies and the whole town is mourning just the same. They’re even offering pork as a thank you, and someone probably had to mortgage their bamboo hut to swing that. Meanwhile you probably can’t even get your neighbor to water your plants while you’re out of town. I dunno, maybe if you contributed to your community a little more you could someday enjoy the kind of admiration that a freaky, murderous reptile commanded. It’s too bad we’ve got ten more months until it’s time to make New Year’s Resolutions, because that’d probably be a good one for you.

Source: ABC

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9.23.12: Week-Old Panda Cub – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:25 am September 24, 2012

The cub’s mother on the pandacam, which is a camera that shows video *of* pandas, and not a camera actually made *from* pandas. Names are confusing.


So a giant panda cub that was born in the National Zoo a week ago died yesterday morning, but I don’t want you sending me your bummed out emails about it. I don’t control who dies. The fact that there’s nothing on this site about Dax Shepard should attest to that. Seriously, his first name is actually Dax and he’s not even an extreme skateboarder or a member of the X-Men or anything.

A necropsy was being conducted to determine the cause of death, and preliminary findings were expected Monday, said Suzan Murray, the zoo’s chief veterinarian. The cub showed no external signs of trauma, she said.

The panda cub did not yet have a name, in keeping with Chinese tradition, and it was too young for its gender to be discerned. It all suggests that the cub could’ve faked its death to remain off the grid. My uncle did the same thing and now he heads up a successful militia cell. I’m just saying it happens, is all.

At the zoo’s panda-themed gift shop, Diana Salguero, 24, of Manassas, Va., was trying on a headband with panda ears when she learned from a reporter about the cub’s death.

“I want to cry right now,” she said. “I’m heartbroken. I’ve been excited all week. That’s why I came out today.”

Yeah, that reporter sounds like an Geraldo-level dick, just roaming the countryside looking for the best way to ruin people’s day. You couldn’t at least wait for her to take off the headband, you fucking ghoul? It’s probably the same guy who told me that Toni Inggs is “probably a tranny anyway.” Fine, I can work around that, just let me believe in love again!

Source: Huffington Post

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8.14.12: Smoke, Donkey Mascot for the US Military in Iraq – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 11:17 am August 24, 2012

Pictured: An adorable, loving animal who boosted troop morale during and after wartime. Annnnnd now your weekend sucks.


The donkey above is Smoke, who died last week after being rescued from a Middle East warzone and adopted as an unofficial mascot for US soldiers stationed in Iraq, where apparently there’s been some sort of conflict in recent years. I wouldn’t know, since I stopped paying attention to politics or culture in general after 1999, the universally agreed upon peak year of human achievement. Lance Armstrong got crazy doped up and won the Tour de France, NASA was crashing shit into other shit like the galaxy was a goddamn Michael Bay movie, and the New Radicals unleashed “You Get What You Give,” the first of what I’m sure has been a string of mega-successful hits that aren’t in the least bit embarrassing with the benefit of hindsight.

But, if I’ve been missing anything for the past however many years have passed, it’s gotta be the addition of badass donkey warriors, blazing their way through the desert with dual rocket launchers on their shoulders and teaching Iraqi schoolchildren valuable lessons about staying away from drugs and not drinking any water darker than “Pewter Cast” on the Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer. God, I’m so pumped now! LET’S GET SOME MOTHERFUCKING STATS IN HERE, BLOCK QUOTE!!!!

The donkey learned to walk into offices and open desk drawers to find apples, carrots and other treats planted there by Marines.

Hmm. Okay, well, granted that I often get stymied trying to open drawers myself and therefore can’t really criticize, but that *is* a little underwhelming. It’s still not as bad as when I found out that actual seals are rarely if ever allowed to join the Navy Seals. You know, it’s revelations like that that really make global military conflicts seem less than inviting. Sure, I realize it’s technically war and all that, but what joykilling dictator decided we can’t have some fun with it?


Source: Yahoo!

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8.6.12: Kavna, the Whale that Inspired “Baby Beluga” – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:17 am August 13, 2012

“So that’s how, in a way, I think we’re all whales.”


Hey! A whale just died! Not just any whale, though, because who gives a shit about some dumbass, run of the mill, plebeian sea mammal, right? No no no, *this* was a tangentially famous whale! Specifically, it was Kavna, the beluga whale that inspired the hit Raffi song “Baby Beluga”! And now she’s dead. Dead and gone, forever. It’s all part of my “Fuck Your Childhood” series of posts. This may or may not be representative of why people have stopped answering my phone calls.

“She had a profound impact on me,” [Raffi] told Canadian radio station News 1130. “[Kavna] came out of the water and placed a gentle, graceful kiss on my cheek and I couldn’t stop talking about it for a couple of weeks! That encounter inspired the song “Baby Beluga,” and as I like to say, the song set the whale free.”

Except for the part where she wasn’t set free at all. Sorry, but “Hurricane” couldn’t get Rubin Carter out of prison and that song was eight and a half minutes long with a badass gypsy fiddle in it. And a lot of swearing. I doubt that Michelle Tanner’s favorite lullaby is gonna raise the gate at the aquarium. That’s right, somebody’s finally taking Raffi down a couple pegs! Your soothing ballads extolling environmental responsibility have been allowed to thrive unchecked just long enough!

(P.S. Here’s a video of Raffi singing new lyrics to “Baby Beluga” urging people to vote in the 2011 Canadian election. I know a lot of people make fun of Canada, and say things like, “Oh, Canada sucks” or “Canada is just a culturally vacant expanse of milquetoast nobodies who will inevitably be crushed under China’s bootheel the second anyone remembers they even exist” or “I’d live in the impact crater left behind after a plane drops all of its solid human waste from the sky before I’d so much as look in the direction of that SARS-addled moose farm of a country,” but at least they don’t have P. Diddy and 50 Cent trying to scare their citizens into voting. Also, they have Wolverine. Point: Canada.)

Source: People

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6.11.12: Thriller, Michael Jackson’s Pet Tiger – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:09 am July 2, 2012

I couldn’t find a picture that I could confirm was Thriller, so instead here’s a black velvet painting of a tiger attacking Roy Horn. 


Hey, did you know that Michael Jackson owned a tiger named Thriller? Well, it doesn’t really matter either way, because he’s dead now. I hear Huey Lewis has a box turtle named Sports that’s doing okay, though.

[Actress Tippi] Hedren tells the Associated Press that an autopsy revealed that Thriller died of lung cancer on June 11. She says that Thriller and his brother Sabu were born in 1998 and lived with Jackson until 2006, when he left his Neverland Ranch.

I dunno, man. You know what pet *really* screams “pretentious weirdo”? Pygmy hippo. It’s this year’s sugar glider! Continuing…

Hedren took the two tigers in at her Shambala Preserve near Los Angeles at the insistence of Jackson’s veterinarian. However, Hedren says Jackson, who died in 2009, never called to check on the tigers or provide any money for their care after that.

Oh give the guy a break. Between not recording a new album and making ill-fated plans to build a giant robot version of himself to wander the deserts of Las Vegas it’s tough to find time to put in a phone call about your novelty pet’s well-being. I can’t even keep a houseplant alive and all I’ve got on my plate is donating plasma under assumed names. I don’t do it for the money, I do it for the challenge.

Source: USA Today. Sassy tiger image via Art by Jared.

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5.9.12: Prince Harry, the Pygmy Hippo – ADORABLE! Also: DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:23 am May 17, 2012

Prince Harry with caretaker Toni Inggs, who should feel free to contact me if she’d like some romantic, candlelit tips in re: hippo mourning.


You know, I normally don’t feel too bad about running a blog that capitalizes on other people’s pain and suffering. The main reason is that a steady diet of Effexor and Small Wonder repeats has scraped off most of the remnants of human emotion that somehow managed to cling to the interior of my psyche. But today I hang my (handsome) head in shame to report that Prince Harry, the beloved pygmy hippo that managed to momentarily steal the internet’s attention away from pictures of cats who have a questionable grasp on grammar, has died. He experienced heart failure during surgery to correct a hernia. Even sadder, there are only about 3,000 of his species in existence, making him the ideal choice of pet for both wealthy eccentrics and college students who are desperate to assert their individuality. Because dogs are for conformos.

Alright, it has to be stated: Yes, that hippo broke new ground when it came to being adorable, and I would suckerpunch the Pope just to get him to lick my face with his cute little hippo tongue. But the fact remains that he’s not an actual prince, and that kind of malfeasance is a sore spot for me. Between this loveable asshole, Prince, and Queen Latifah I’ve given out way too many unnecessary curtsies. You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson after taking medical advice from *both* Dr. Dre’s, but no. Seriously, what were the odds that *neither* of them were actually doctors?

Source: Mail Online

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5.7.12: Heroin-Addled Swiss Raver Dolphins – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 10:30 am May 8, 2012

I made this before reading the article. If it turns out to be inaccurate I should still be able to make some tweaks and use it for when Andy Dick ODs on Clorox this summer.

So it looks like some filthy Swiss ravers got high and fed heroin to some dolphins who happened to be in the immediate vicinity. Because in Switzerland you can apparently just party with dolphins whenever you want. The whole country behaves like its in an 80s Bud Light commercial.

Hey, Block Quote: Can we try some Block Quotes within Block Quotes, like some kind of grammatical Inception?

A toxicology report has surfaced that says two dolphins who died last year after a zoo rave in Switzerland that says heroin was found in the mammals’ urine. reports:

About a year ago, dolphins Shadow and Chelmers died agonizing deaths in Connyland, Switzerland, after the zoo allowed a rave (attended by thousands) to be held near their training pool. For animals with sonar hearing, a possibly dubstep-heavy event was already considered a strain.

Now a toxicology report has emerged that shows a heroin substitute was found in the animal’s urine. This would seem to confirm initial suspicions that whacked-out ravers fed the dolphins drugs while possibly on some kind of weird acid trip.

AOL UK reports that it was originally believed that the techno music pumping out from the club just yards from the dolphins’ pool had caused their deaths:

But toxicology tests carried out by the forensics institute in St Gallen show that the heroin substitute Buprenorphin was present in the dolphins’ urine.

According to The Sun, Dutch marine biologist and dolphin expert Cornelis van Elk said: “Opiates are extremely dangerous for underwater mammals and would never be used in any legitimate treatment.

Yikes. What a sad story. Between this and Aphex Twin Junior Skrillex I’m kinda surprised dubstep is still legal. You don’t hear about mammals dying at Sugarland concerts. Wait, seriously? Oh man. That is the worst musical atrocity since Gwen Stefani murdered Adam Yauch.


Source: Seattle PI

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