Friday, November 06, 2009

Planes, Pigs, Elephants, and Automobiles

In today's edition of the Journal Sentinel there are not one, but two articles describing what ensues when technology collides with nature...literally. First up was a national airline plane in Zimbabwe that was disabled after colliding with five wild pigs on the runway. In a statement by Associated press, the plane's undercarriage collapsed on impact, and all 34 passengers on board were safely evacuated. They made no mention, however, of what became of the pigs, but one can only imagine that they did not come out as safely as the passengers, seeing as they were pigs and their opposition was a multi-passanger airplane.

Bizarre animal accidents seem only to report extensively on the condition of the animal involved if the animal at hand is on a path to recovery. Such is the case with a an elephant involved in a car accident with an SUV in Enid, Oklahoma. An article detailing the accident and the elephant's injuries and post-accident care can by found on the page following the article about the wild pig plane crash. It seems a gentleman named Bill Carpenter was driving home from church on Wednesday evening when he swerved at the last second on the highway to avoid hitting nothing less than a an eight foot, 4,500 pound pachyderm. His SUV ended up sideswiping the animal, which had run away from a nearby fair, resulting in tusk puncture on the side of the SUV, and a broken tusk and a leg would for the elephant. The elephant was treated by a veterinarian who found the animal "hiding in the some bushes just off the highway" after the accident. I personally would love to see 4,500 pound elephant "hiding" in some bushes. I'd also be curious to see what a "tusk puncture" in an SUV looks like.

The driver of the SUV claimed that the elephant "blended in with the road". I have a hard time imagining that an elephant of that size blends in with anything, especially in Oklahoma. Some future advice to pilots and drivers: check the road ahead of you for wildlife and the occasional elephant.

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