Headline news from Sky News - DRUNK SOLDIER KILLS TIGER in Baghdad Zoo

Published: September 23, 2003
Updated: September 23, 2003

It seems as if I am on a bit of animal rights bent this week, but this article has greater implications than just the stupidity of the soldier who went into the cage. The fact that American soldiers appear to be behaving in a manner that is other than exemplary is very unfortunate. If it is the case that the local authorities have no way of stopping them entering the zoo and using it as a place to hold parties, then overall we are looking at a bad attitude that will in no way enhance the role that the US is ‘supposed’ to be playing.

An American soldier has shot and killed a rare Bengal tiger in Baghdad Zoo during an apparently drunken party.
“The soldiers arrived in the evening with food and beer, accompanied by a group of Iraqi police officers,” said zoo official Adel Musa.
One of the soldiers, who Iraqi police said had drunk a lot, went into the cage against the advice of his colleagues and tried to feed the animal.
The tiger tore off one of the soldier’s fingers and mauled his arm.
One of the other soldiers immediately fired at the animal and killed it.
“The soldiers don’t have the right to behave like that,” said Mr Musa.
“That was the most precious and valuable animal in the whole zoo. It was 14 years old and had been born here.”
Mr Musa said US soldiers often held parties in the zoo in the evenings. “We have no way of stopping them,” he said.

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