In the beginning of things men were animals and animals men. ~ Algonquin saying

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons." ~ The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Monday, July 25, 2011

Killing "Chupacabra" -- a Felony?

Thank you to The Anomalist, and Still on the Track for linking to my item on the young Texas teen who killed himself a "chupacabra." Skeptic Benjamin Radford (who've I had a contentious exchange over chupacabra in the past) has an article on this shooting at Live Science: In Killing Chupacabra, Did Teen Commit a Felony? | El Chupacabra and Paranormal Creatures .

Radford writes that it's possible the thirteen year old Carter Pope may face felony charges for killing the creature. We all know it's not a chupacabra, as Radford correctly points out (*my god, I'm agreeing with a skeptic! fancy that) this animal will turn out to be a canine. Why the boy, and others who've killed such animals misidentified with chupacabras feel the need to blast away when they see one is beyond me, except that some of us humans shoot first, ask later, when confronted with an unknown. Pope's shooting is considered animal cruelty under Texas law, as Radford comments:
Carter Pope may end up getting in trouble with animal rights advocates — or even the law. Pope, a minor, presumably had his parents' written permission to carry the rifle he used as required by Texas law. But just because a person sees an animal he or she doesn't recognize doesn't necessarily mean they have the right to shoot and kill it on a whim. The animal was not attacking anyone or anything, nor being a nuisance. And while the creature was probably a feral dog or coyote, it could be a neighbor's missing, sick pet. If the animal turns out to be a dog, Pope could potentially be charged with a felony. Texas Penal Code 42.09 on animal cruelty states a person who "kills, seriously injures, or administers poison to an animal, other than cattle, horses, sheep, swine, or goats, belonging to another without legal authority or the owner's effective consent," could be charged with a felony offense.
*Actually, I don't agree with him; Radford, while making good points about shooting an animal just because you don't know what it is, and that it is a canine, cannot resist going the skeptoid route and making snarky comments about UFOs, etc.

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