8

Treat Them Like Animals – Part 2

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Previously – Animals Protecting Animals (APA) has caught a group of poachers in South Africa. They have been taken to APA’s holding facility in the middle of the Sahara Desert to await sentencing by a panel of lions. You can read the rest of the background here.

The following morning, three lionesses arrive. After a brief conversation with Carl, they ask that the defendants be brought to the interrogation room. Carl joins the lionesses to take notes.

The defendants are brought in by Vince and Albert. The camels stay as guards. When the men see that they are going to be tried by lions, they become nervous. They have heard about the poachers in South Africa being eaten by lions.

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Head Judge: Give us your name, age and home country.

Number 98: Mandla, 23, South Africa

Number 99: Adamu, 30, Kenya

Number 100: Narong, 32, Thailand

Number 101: Lamon, 35, Thailand

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The judges confer among themselves.

Head Judge: We would like to know your role in the crime.

Mandla: My family is starving and they told me that they would pay me to show them the way to the park. I left when we got there. They told me they would kill me if I told anyone. I’m sorry I ever took the money.

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Adamu: I was a guard. My job was to kill anyone who tried to stop us.

Narong: I was also a guard. Additionally, I shot some of the animals.

Lamon: I was responsible for removing the trophies from the dead animals.

Head Judge: What happened to the “trophies” after you removed them?

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Lamon: Narong and I smuggled them out of the country and sold them on the black market in Asia.

Head Judge: What did you do with the money?

Lamon: We needed the money to pay for personal expenses.

Head Judge: Did you send any of the money back to Adamu or Mandla?

Lamon: No. We paid them before we left. We consider them a cost of doing business in Africa.

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Head Judge: Adamu, did you need to shoot any humans?

Adamu: No. We didn’t run into any humans.

Head Judge: Did you kill any animals?

Adamu: No. My job was to stand guard.

Head Judge: Take them back to their cage.

Vince and Albert return the poachers to the tent. The judges talk over what they have heard. They reach a decision on each of the defendants and Carl writes down what they decide. He brings the defendants back to the interrogation room.

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Head Judge: We have come to a decision on each of you. Please step forward when I call your name. Mandla, you’re first.

We have taken your circumstances into account and given you a lenient sentence. You will spend 30 days in our facility in South Africa with leopard guards. Then you will become a paid apprentice at the animal reserve. You are not allowed to carry a gun for two years. If you successfully complete your probation, you will become a full officer with all privileges.

Mandla: Thank you for the opportunity.

Head Judge: Use it well. You won’t get a second chance.

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Adamu, please step forward.

We were not as lenient with you. All that kept you from killing was circumstance. You were lucky that no one came near your group. Regardless, you were a lesser player in the crime.

Therefore, you are sentenced to 15 years in our central Kenya facility with lions as your guards. You will be near your family. Use your time to find another profession.

Adamu: Thank you Judge.

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Head Judge: Narong and Lamon, please step forward.

Honestly, we could not find anything redeeming in any of your actions. You are sentenced to life in our Siberian facility. The tigers only get our worst cases, so you will be with good company.

Narong: Don’t Siberian tigers eat people?

Head Judge: I haven’t heard of it happening at our facility, but I suppose it’s possible. I would be on my best behavior, just in case.

The judges leave the room. The prisoners are led back to the tent to await transportation to the various facilities.Image result for siberian tiger

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9

Peacock in the City

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We are here in South Mumbai to meet Dinesh Mora, star of the hot Indian reality show, Real Peacocks of Mumbai. We arrive at a very exclusive gated community, protected by two Bengal tigers. The one at the driver’s side seems surprised to see a mongoose at the wheel. When he checks his guest list, he starts to chuckle, “Going to Mora’s, I see.”

We find a cul-de-sac of incredibly refined neutral-hued homes. Except the one painted bright pink. We get out, look around and see several limos with their macaque drivers waiting. The closest one is glaring at us. He comes over and asks if we’re friends of Mora. We explain about the interview.

 

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The macaque grimaces. “I should have known. Since he’s moved in, it’s been a circus around here. I don’t know why they let him in. Everyone else here is high-level government; leopards mainly with a few lions. He’s a bird! Parties all the time. And look at that paint! Some royal bird of the gods!”

Andi, the photographer and I nod politely and walk to the door. It opens as we approach. It is Anika, Dinesh’s personal assistant. “Hurry up! Dinesh has been waiting for you!”

 

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We walk into a large open room where a large handsome peacock is having some sort of oil massaged into his chest feathers. “Hello there! I’m running behind. We’ll only have time for a couple of pictures before we go. Remember: left side or full-face only. No close-ups of the tail.” Andi grins at me and takes a few shots.

Dinesh dashes out and gets on a vintage Royal Enfield motorcycle. He wants several pictures on it. “Girls love guys on bikes.” Andi poses him several ways before he roars off. Anika stays to do some work.

 

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By the time we get to the studio, a stylist is trying to undo the wind damage to Dinesh’s tail feathers. “Be careful! You know I have the best-looking feathers here. Damage them and I’ll make sure you never work again!” She calmly continues her work.

“You! Picture girl! Come over here. I want some close-ups.” Andi glares at me and walks over.

 

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I ask him how he likes living in Mumbai after spending the rest of his life in the north. “Well, I do miss Mum and my sisters. I’m trying to talk them into coming down here. I have plenty of room. The house is too big for me alone and I certainly am not ready to settle down yet.” He winks at me.

What does he think of the neighborhood? “Truthfully, I wish I’d done a little more research. I wanted someplace quiet so I could relax, but I might as well be living in a cemetery. Apparently none of them have friends. I can’t help that I eat outside and they have servants to prepare their meals. Besides, I keep thinking one of them is going to eat me.”

 

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He’s called to the set. It’s a pretty typical scene from what I’ve heard. The four guys go to a bar, meet some girls they know. They all get a table. A couple of beautiful peahens walk by. Two of the guys get up to talk to them. Their girls get upset and go up to the peahens. Feathers fly. The guys go home, have a drink and talk about girls.

Dinesh goes back to make-up. He wants more oil on his feathers. “You would not believe how those lights can dry you out.”

 

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A couple of female fans some back. One of them coos, “We’d love to rub oil into you.” Andi almost gags. Dinesh smiles and points at the bottles. The girls get to work.

“mmmm” Dinesh looks at us. “Get a couple more pictures, and I think we’re done. Try to avoid their faces. I don’t want any jealous ladies out there.” He thinks for a minute. “And don’t forget. I have final approval on all copy and pictures.”

We leave without telling him that he never got around to asking for a contract.

 

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Riki T Tavi, Asia Correspondent

(all pictures courtesty of Google Images)