I read a disturbing story of a young man who broke into the Alice Springs Reptile Centre in the early hours of Wednesday morning. In just thirty five minutes he had beaten thirteen animals to death and fed them to the zoo’s saltwater crocodile.
Directors of the zoo said that children “often tried to throw rocks at the animals from a nearby hill” but that this was by far the worst incident since the zoo opened to the public eight years ago.
Apparently the young man’s brother attacked the crocodile a few years ago, so such callousness and cruelty clearly runs in the family. But the most chilling part of the story is that local police can’t take any action against the perpetrator.
He’s just seven years old.
The only restitution available to the zoo is a civil case against the boy’s parents. What are we coming to? These animals are just as dead, were just as scared, hurt and fatally wounded whether their tormentor was seven or thirty seven. It’s about time authorities around the world examined their laws again, and that Governments looked more closely at the roles and responsibilities of parents.
In contrast to this story, I also found a story, again in The Times from April 2007 (“Catapult boy is eaten after taunting crocodile in pen”) about Liu, a nine-year-old Chinese boy who with his friends climbed into a crocodile pen and began firing catapults and beating the crocodiles with sticks. It seems that an irate croc fought back, grabbing Liu’s clothing and dragging him into the water, where he was swiftly eaten by a swarm of the reptiles.
Form your own conclusions.