No theme this time. Just oddness.

The SPCA is investigating after four zebras recently died at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. According to the report in the Langley Advance, the animals died of exertional myopathy after two Cape buffalo were introduced into their enclosure.

The report states that the buffalo were able to interact with the zebras and other enclosure residents, which included ostriches and antelope, through the barn doors before they were released into the area.

But when the new residents appeared, the zebras panicked and ran.

"(Zoo officials) released the cape buffaloes into the enclosure where the zebras were and immediately the zebras started running around and stressing out, busting through fencing, and one ended up in a pond," Eileen Drever, an SPCA animal protection officer, told The Canadian Press

Drever said it's clear the animals were distressed, and SPCA investigators are working to determine if that distress could have been avoided.

Read more about skeletal muscle disease related to exercise.  


A man who rode his horse through a suburb of Denver, Colo., while drunk was cited for riding an animal under the influence, according to K-USA TV.  

Brian Drone was ticketed for riding an animal while under the influence, a Class B traffic violation that carries a $25 fine. A local stable owner picked up his horse, Cricket.

Penny Lackey, a waitress at an area restaurant said she'd seen Drone at it before.

"The first time was very (un)usual," she said. "The second time, I was like, 'OK, there's the guy on the horse again.' "

Read another post on intoxicated equestrians.  


A mule working at a quarry in Wenzhou, China, intentionally hurled itself off a cliff, according to a worker quoted at Metro.co.uk.  

"This was the first time that poor beast had been out of his harness and he took his chance to end it all," the unnamed worker is quoted as saying.

Take it as you will, I haven't been able to locate any other coverage of this incident.

But there was another article I saw last year on the topic of suicidal donkeys. It was in Indian Express but all links to the original seem to be broken/removed. Mentions of it are still posted on several blogs and forums (example) so I'm confident I'm not hallucinating.

The gist was UN peacekeepers from India on a mission in Sudan had been asked to help cure "suicidal donkeys" that were intentionally ending their lives. One of the animals walked into the Nile while hooked to its cart, the other flatly refused to move, even as its owner (Balaam?) beat it to death. The peacekeepers were trying to explain that kindness, rest, and a diet of grain were the best prescription to avoid suicidal tendencies in the working animals. Good advice.

The Times of India took up the topic and responded with a commentary column on whether animals are capable of suicide.

Comment below--what do you think? (Just fyi, if you came in via Facebook, it's ok to comment there too, but not everyone reading the post will be able to see it.)

If you're interested in the topic of working equids, check out the blog on Working with Morocco's Horses. This is a series of posts and photos by veterinary student Jeremy Campfield, chronicling his experiences at the American Fondouk hospital in Fez, Morocco.


And yowzas, that's super depressing.

Here's some lighter stuff!