Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Animals in the news

February 2004: The waters are rising in the Manawatu farmland in lower North Island, the cows need to move to higher ground, the farmer goes to the rescue .. but she and the herd are swept away. Happily, she is rescued by one of her cows. Cow 569 becomes a national heroine!

In September the now famous cow became the mother of a ‘strapping hereford-cross bull calf’. The calf was named Tuggys Buoy and was auctioned for charity.

The rescued farmer, Kim Riley, wrote Cow Power, an illustrated story for children (ISBN 1869416546 ). So the animal that she first described as, an old cow, an ugly old tart hasn’t done too badly! How many humans get the chance to become national heroines, auction off their kids and have books written about them?

April 2004: A 10-year-old merino sheep, subsequently named Shrek, was captured on Bendigo Station on the South Island after he evaded the musterers for six years. When captured he was too old to be sold for mutton and the heavy fleece that he was sporting was too long for the machines. Normally, he would have been killed for meat about age six. Not so in New Zealand! He instantly became a television celebrity.

Shrek was shorn on National TV in a program that was beamed to Japan, Australia, Britain and the US. His fleece .. 375 mm. long and weighing 20.5 Kg .… was auctioned online to raise money for the Cure Kids charity. He even went to parliament to meet the Prime Minister.

The old sheep had no monetary value but as the famous Shrek he has already raised $250,000 for charity.

May 2004: The ‘bugger’ dog dies. Hercules, for that was his name, was the star of the popular Saatchi & Saatchi "bugger" advertisement for Toyota that judges at the Advertising Olympics in Cannes in 1999 called one of the year’s best automotive ads, "Bugger".

Sadly the end of the dog seemed to herald the end of good news-making animal stories. Oh well! It was nice while it lasted.


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