The AFP was today reporting on a truly strange story out of Spain. An obese man has been charged with animal abuse after killing a young donkey. A spectator at a live nativity scene, the man has been shamed and castigated by animal rights groups around the world.
As part of an outdoor nativity scene, the man (who weighed nearly a hundred and fifty kilos!) had taken a seat on the donkey’s back. Three days after the event, the five month old donkey suddenly died.
The celebration is part of the annual festive traditions held within the town of Lucena, in Andalucia. The donkey, whose name was Platero, is said to have been subjected to enormous pressure after the gentleman posed for a photo on its back.
Animal rights groups Adebo and Circulo Animalista de Podemos Lucena have blasted the man, who illegally entered the pen in order to pose for the image. The picture, which is now circulating online, has shocked animal lovers and rights activists the world over.
After the donkey appeared ill, he was taken to a vet. A day later, the poor creature had passed on. “Our Platero was literally squashed by a man,” the animal rights groups said in a statement. “The man proudly posed with his almost 150 kilos of weight on the fragile body of the animal, fatally injuring him.”
The next day, the thirty eight year old man was detained and charged with harming a defenceless animal. To highlight the poignancy of the case, Spain’s national police tweeted out a helpful reminder: “TAKE CARE OF ANIMALS! Don’t be an ass…Show humanity and intelligence. Respect the rules!”
Live nativity scenes are a rich part of the Christian tradition, taking places all over small European town and villages. But this most recent incident teaches everybody an important lesson about the trusteeship between man and beast, and the oftentimes insensitive interactions many humans have with animals.
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