Sometimes wildlife is no joking matter
An Israeli man caught a leopard in his pajamas. All together now: How the leopard got in his pajamas, he'll never know!
Sorry. I just had to do that. I waited a long time for a true story to go with that famous Groucho Marx line and I just couldn't let it pass. The actual Marx brother joke is, "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I'll never know."
The BBC reported that an aging leopard jumped into Arthur Du Mosch's bed the other night while Mosch was in his "bed clothes." In America we call "bed clothes" jammies, or pajamas. Elephants, leopards ... hey, you take what you can get. Mosch didn't shoot the leopard, either. He grabbed him. But close enough.
Mosch said the big cat jumped in his bed and he grabbed it by the neck and held it until authorities arrived. That's pretty amazing. I mean, you'd think with the Palestinian situation in the West Bank and Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon lobbing missiles into your towns, Israelis would have enough to worry about. I'd think that worrying about a leopard jumping into your bed would be way, way down on the list of things that Israelis worry about, below Paris Hilton jumping into their beds. Or even Dick Cheney.
But that just shows how little I know about the Middle East. I didn't even know there were leopards in Israel. I thought they lived in Africa. On TV they do. You see them sitting in fields of tall grass, eyeballing gazelles and such. I've never seen a National Geographic showing leopards sitting in vast fields of desert sand eyeballing Israelis. But apparently, though light on Paris Hiltons and Dick Cheneys, Israel does have leopards. A wildlife official, Raviv Shapira, told the BBC that leopards are fairly common in southern Israel's Negev desert.
Then in a startling bit of understatement, Mr. Shapira said, "But we have never heard of a leopard coming into a private home." Seriously? Even leopards posing as Jehovah's Witnesses?
Now, here's the weird thing (as if a leopard climbing into the bed of an Israeli in his pajamas wasn't weird enough): Arthur Du Mosch is a wildlife nature guide. A leopard picks out the ONE bed in Israel to jump onto that is occupied by a wildlife nature guide. What are the odds? This leopard should buy a lottery ticket.
Because Mosch understood wild animals, he knew the leopard was old and scared -- that's why he was able to catch him with his bare hands. So, Mosch was lucky there, too. I mean, what if the animal had been an angry, young Hezbollah leopard?
No one knows why the leopard jumped in Mosch's bed. I think it's because he just wanted to cuddle. The BBC says the animal will be tagged and released back "into the wild." The wild? Like where, Tel Aviv? I think when a leopard enters a house and climbs into a bed, he's pretty much had it with "the wild." Get the poor creature some jammies.
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