Frank Stockton's classic tale of morality, "The Tiger or the Lady," was about a choice. A princess loved a fair youth and their love affair, having been discovered by her father, the king, was punished in their barbaric way of their land. The youth was made to choose between two doors. Behind one was a lady and he would marry her, having been proved innocent. Behind the other door was a tiger who would maul and eat the accused, thus proving he was guilty. The princess was well aware of behind which door the lady waited and who the lady was. Yet Stockton doesn't give the reader the answer to this conundrum: Does the princess overcome her jealousy? Or would she rather see her lover die?
In recent weeks, Los Angeles was plagued by a tiger, a beast prowling around at large. His footprints, much larger than a mountain lion, were what gave him away. His owners did not and have not to my knowledge come forward.
When he was at last found, he was shot, leading to a huge outcry among animal lovers. Did he have to be killed?
Last week, two exotic pets were killed. They were killed by the son-in-law of the caretakers as the animals were savagely attacking a visitor. The visitor, a man in his 60s, was with his wife. He and his wife had brought a cake to their own chimpanzee who had been confiscated from the couple's West Covina home after the chimp had bitten off a woman's finger.
The two chimps that were killed were part of a group of four—two females and two males. They basically chewed off the man's face, severed a foot and castrated him.
We often think of chimps as cute animals in diapers, asking to hold hands with their human caretakers. But chimp social laws are much different from human ways. Even a rich person like Michael Jackson, whose famous Bubbles has disappeared long before he was accused of child molestation. People familiar with chimps aren't surprised. While dogs get calmer at age three, a maturing chimp becomes more demanding and even aggressive. A mature chimp will weigh over 150 lbs. and yet be stronger than a human of comparable size.