Many animals pass from this world every day. Some are killed for food and other things to benefit humans, and other die as a result of getting hit by a car or another common accident. But every once in a while, something really emerges as a freak-of-nature type accident. Here are ten stories about animals who probably didn’t deserve to go the way they did.
10. Quan Quan The Panda
Quan Quan was a panda living at the Jinan Zoo in China. Pandas are an exceptionally rare animal, and the few in captivity are generally treated with incredibly high levels of respect and care, in hopes that they can someday help repopulate the species. Quan Quan was definitely doing her part; over the course of her life, she had produced seven panda cubs. Her presence at the Jinan Zoo had drastically increased zoo attendance as well.
Unfortunately, it was the zoo itself that would do her in. During the cleaning of an air system near the panda enclosure, some of the chemicals leaked into the ventilation system and into the panda enclosure. Quan Quan died from inhaling these chemicals at the ripe old age of 21.
9. 70,000 Chickens
Chickens, especially ones on poultry farms, typically don’t get a lot of sympathy. They’re basically viewed as food and typically live in harsh conditions as it is. However, farmers still need to be able to keep them alive, and so have cooling systems, feeding systems, and other such things to keep them clucking at least until they’ve reached their full market potential.
But two things that are very hard to account for are power outages and drunk guys. Unfortunately for farm owner Mark Shockley, both of these things managed to happen in the same night. Joshua Shelton was stumbling around intoxicated one night and ended up shutting off all of the power to three chicken houses. When the power went out, the cooling systems that normally provide a decent living environment for the chickens disappeared and proved to be a fatal loss for seventy thousand chickens. The damages are estimated at over $20,000.
8. Unnamed Lab Research Monkey
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a company that tests pharmaceuticals for their safety before they’re sold out on the open market. One of the ways that they do so is by testing them on monkeys that are raised specifically for that purpose. In July of 2011, the cages of the monkeys were going through a routine washing that would prove to be costly. As the cages were going through the wash cycle, one crab-eating macaque found itself still trapped in its cage. The cages were submitted to near-boiling water temperatures, and the macaque was killed in the process. When the cage was removed, an employee discovered the deceased monkey still in the cage, and Bristol-Myers Squibb became subject to USDA investigations.
7. Blue The Service Pig
When there’s a sort of disability in a family, many times the presence of a specially-trained dog can help take care of some of the stresses that can come in handling whatever disability is there. The Sickles family in Virginia had two children that were in need of a service animal. One had a condition that caused seizures, and the other had Down’s Syndrome. Rather than a dog, the Sickles family decided to go with Blue, a trained pot-bellied pig who reportedly did a great job with the children.
But one night, Blue got out of his pen and wandered to a neighbor’s yard. The neighbor mistook Blue for a wild boar, and called the police. A deputy shot Blue with a bow and arrow without knowing that it was a trained service pig. In the aftermath, the family was upset at losing Blue, but say that they forgive the deputy, who was sincerely sorry and even offered to purchase a replacement pig to make it up to them.
6. Farmer Warwick Marks’ Cows
Warwick Marks is a cattle rancher in Australia who keeps losing his cows. In 2005, a lightning storm passed over his farm. Sensing the imminent danger, the cattle hid under some trees, which unbeknownst to the cows, serve as natural lightning rods. When lightning struck the area, 68 cows were killed instantly, and another three were paralyzed (though they recovered). What’s especially sad is that this wasn’t the first time it had happened; five years prior, he lost eleven cows in the same manner.
Marks isn’t exactly the only farmer suffering from this problem. During the same storm, a farmer 200 kilometers away lost 38 cattle himself. Then in 2008, a farm in Uganda lost 52 cattle to lightning. And in July 2013, another farm in Canada lost 18 cattle. Cattle are an extremely expensive asset, and difficult to replace on a farm. So if you own any, keep them away from the trees.
5. A Display Bison
The William S. Hart Park in Newhall, California kept 11 adult bison on display for the enjoyment of visitors. The bison were well-kept until one day in the summer of 2004. A park worker realized one of the bison was missing, and later discovered the body in another corral. The dead bison was an 18-month-old bull, and his death was shocking to the park staff.
The first thing investigators decided to do was eliminate the possibility that the bison was lured away and murdered. Additionally, adaptations were made to improve aspects of the quality of life for the remaining bison, including diet improvements and better corral security. Finally, auditors concluded that the young bison had probably just escaped the corral and gone into another one, where it likely starved to death or died of dehydration.
4. Tiger Cub Trapped
A group of men on the island of Sumatra went out into a forest to gather a rare type of wood that is typically converted into incense. It was going to be a bit of a long trip, so they laid traps to hunt for food such as deer and antelope. Entirely by accident, a young tiger cub became caught in one of their traps and was killed.
Unfortunately for the group, there was a small pack of five Sumatran tigers that witnessed the cub’s death, and since tigers don’t understand the concept of “whoopsie doodles, our bad,” the hunters immediately became the hunted. The men scrambled up a tree, where the tigers held them for five days. At one point, one of the men fell from the tree when his branch broke, and he was quickly killed. After making some frantic phone calls, the remaining men were able to get a hold of people from their village, who took nearly three days to reach the group. The tigers were driven away, and the surviving five men were transported to the nearest village.
3. Methuselina The Sheep
Methuselina was both a literal and figurative black sheep. In the literal sense, she was a black-faced ewe, and in the figurative sense, she was a rarity because she lived for such a very long time. At 25 years, 11 months old, it was estimated that Methuselina was the oldest living sheep in the world. Though it had not been certified by Guinness World Records, Methuselina likely would have been soon enough, had it not been for an accident in February of 2012. While tending to his sheep, Methuselina’s owner John Maciver found her lying against a rock at the bottom of a cliff. We can fairly safely assume that she fell off.
2. A Yak At A Chinese Zoo
One day at a zoo in China, a female yak was being ganged up on by some males who wanted to mate. The female didn’t want to have anything to do with that, and accidentally broke out of her enclosure and into the tiger pit nearby. The tigers were naturally very curious about the yak, and took to attacking her. What followed was an attempt by zoo staff to rescue the yak, but there was really very little to be done. They were able to lasso the yak out of the enclosure, but not before the damage was done. Yaks are expensive animals and in a matter of minutes, this zoo was suddenly without one.
1. Two British Racehorses
At the Newbury racetrack in 2011, the very first race of the day would end up also being the last. As seven horses lined up in the paddock to begin the race, several of them immediately went down. One horse, Kid Cassidy, collapsed and needed to withdraw from the race for immediate medical attention, though was later fine. A second horse, The Merry Giant, stumbled but finished the race in last place, looking traumatized. Two of the horses, Fenix Two and Marching Song, collapsed to the ground and were pronounced dead. It was later revealed that an electrical cable was under the paddock where the horses were loading, and they presumably stepped on it. The wet ground conditions, combined with horses’ already exceptional sensitivity to electricity, proved to be the right combination for the wrong way to start a race.