This Day in Death

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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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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7.29.12: The Olympic Flame – TEMPORARILY DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:34 am August 6, 2012

The speed with which NBC forces me to remove this image is directly proportional to how popular this blog is. We’re, uh… we’re still waiting. But I know that Cease & Desist is on the way. I can *feel* it, you know?

 

So I guess the Olympic flame went out last week, but I haven’t been paying attention to the Olympics since I have access to the internet and, therefore, literally millions of things that are way more exciting and intellectually stimulating. Like these videos of people prank calling C-Span. Or, failing that, I could go look for rocks that resemble celebrities, try to induce sex dreams by falling asleep with porno on in the background, or shave off my hair and attempt to make a smoothie out of it. All of these things would be a much better use of my time than sitting through 40 minutes of cell phone commercials to see some Nigerian run for 14 seconds. And why isn’t NBC even covering the Puppy Olympics? Don’t try to tell me it’s because there’s no such thing as the Puppy Olympics. There’s also no such thing as a human being who finds “Whitney” entertaining but it doesn’t stop them from hiring methadone patients to keep writing it.

According to millenary tradition, the flame has to burn inside its cauldron for the duration of the game. It went out this Sunday, 11:14pm London time.

Thankfully, it was not accidentally extinguished by London’s perpetual rain. It had to be extinguished for security reasons before the cauldron was moved to a new location. Before unceremoniously turning off the gas, they lit up the torch that was used by Mr. Playfoot [editor’s note – Tee hee!] to relight the cauldron this morning.

I guess the Olympics just doesn’t command the same solemn gravitas that it used to. I blame the unusually high standards set by Leni Riefenstahl’s groundbreaking directorial techniques, mainly because I took a film class once and I’ve been waiting to get that reference out there for years.

By the way, this is probably the last time I’ll be linking to a story about a topical event. They tend to make me look bad, largely due to being repeatedly conned by those Onion articles. If they didn’t expect people to believe they’re real then they should really state that every couple of lines. How the hell am I just supposed to *know* that Reagan hasn’t come back from the dead to lead the GOP? I’m not a goddamn political analyst here.

 

Source: Gizmodo

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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.

MSN.com 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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4.30.12: 500,000 Chickens – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 9:32 am May 2, 2012

I swear to God if this is another story that involves unexpected molestation I’m shutting this blog down.

 

Chickens: We eat them. But did you know they were once alive? It’s one of those things you never think to look up on Wiki, but it’s totes true.

Roughly half a million chickens perished in a fire at a Weld County egg farm Monday afternoon, authorities said.

The fire at Moark Hatcheries, located at 9575 Weld County Road 73, was reported at about 1:30 p.m.

SkyFOX aerial footage showed several buildings ablaze and a large plume of smoke that was visible from several miles away.

Well that certainly emphasizes the “bummer” aspect of the story. This is exactly why I’ve long suggested that all sad news items should be reported exclusively via Far Side cartoons. Maybe, like, all the chickens are scrambling to escape and one of them is left behind because he’s listening to an audio book about teaching yourself to fly and doesn’t hear the commotion. And the caption could say something about how ironic that is, and the chicken’s name would probably be something silly like “Mortimer” or “Greg” or something. Look, I realize that’s not all that funny but I never went to journalism school.

 

Source: KDVR.com

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