Anorak News | Russian-Doll Roast

Russian-Doll Roast

by | 25th, October 2006

ROCK doves or rats with wings? Where do you stand on the debate over pigeons, the revolting cooing vermin?

Our attitude to pigeons may dictate how we react to the Times’s front-page photograph of a pigeon sat in the mouth of a pelican.

The scene is St James’s Park, haven for pelicans since 1664, when the Russian ambassador gave some to King Charles II. Resisting all urge to use the big pelican as the outer layer in a Russian-Doll Roast, the birds lived. And now look on as one pelican waddles over to a pigeon, scoops it up and eats it.

Agreed. Those are out thoughts entirely. The pelican is an endangered creature and it was foolish and impetuous to risk its health on such a revolting meal. We wish it well.

And when we read that there are only 4,000 breeding pairs of the pelican known as Easter whites, we demand a recount. And if the numbers are still low, we then demand that the pelican is placed on an intensive breeding programme before being introduced to every town centre and shopping precinct in the land.

And we can vote on it. The Times says that Trevor McDonald and Zoe Ball are to front a show in which viewers vote for which creature they want to save from extinction.

Of course, while we choose which one we want to save, we are also choosing which animals we want to see end up like so much Dodo.

But before we can dial a premium-rate number to “Save The Pelican” and “Kill The Pigeon”, we learn that the approved list features neither creature.

The makers of Extinct, the ITV show, have made their selections. The full list, with surviving numbers, runs:
Bengal Tiger (4,000)
Mountain Gorilla (400)
Hyacinth Macaw (2,500 – 5,000)
Giant Panda (1,600)
Leatherback turtle (50,000)
Polar bear (down by 30 per cent to?)
Orang-utan (less than 30,000)
Asian elephant (“big fall in population”)

A spokesman for the show, made by Endemol, who bring us Big Brother, denies the programme contains more than a dash of “sick prurience”.

Says Charlie Gardner: “The programme is about putting popular spin on a serious topic. It’s not something to be shamed of. We are raising awareness for each of these animals.”

So cast your votes. And know that the money raised will go to saving the winning animal from certain death.

Or you could just buy a pelican…

Posted: 25th, October 2006 | In: Strange But True Comment | TrackBack | Permalink