Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Cute? No, it's downright dangerous!
In The Sunday Star over the weekend, I had noticed that this picture won the RM50 prize in the newspaper's Thumbnail contest. Well, it's not exactly a contest but newspaper readers have been encouraged to submit photos snapped from everyday occurrences and a weekly prize is awarded to the most interesting picture for the week. This one by Thong Zhen Yang won last Sunday. It's shows a very spontaneous reaction by a small kid towards an approaching animal.
However, I must say that this is a most irresponsible and dangerous situation for a parent to put a child through. Parents should never allow children to get so close to wild animals even though the animals may look tame enough. It's even doubly dangerous when we think that it may be alright when an animal looks so much like a human being. We may think it can be trusted but in fact, it cannot and must not be trusted at all.
We can never know what's going on in an animal's mind especially one that's wild and hungry. That's when an animal is at its most aggressive. If anyone comes too close to it, the animal snarls at you to keep your distance. If it comes too close to you and you are about the same size, it feels bold enough to challenge you. Either way, you can be threatened by the animal.
I've seen it happen many times before ... at the Penang Botanical Gardens, at the Bukit Mertajam hill, practically everywhere that monkeys are seen roaming: the aggression when they are hungry, the aggression when they fight among themselves, the defensive aggression when they feel threatened. You never know when they'll turn and bite!
My advice to people like Thong: be more sensitive about your child's whereabouts. Children of this age know nothing about the dangers of getting close to wild animals. It may be too late for parents to react or regret once an unfortunate accident happen.