Shameless exploitation

15 May, '09

My blood is still boiling.

As we were finishing our sumptuous special Friday Breakfast, my wife noticed a cage or trap which appeared to have been set on our perimeter fence! She also noticed that what looked like a trapped parrot inside!

I didn’t waste much time, I immediately unhooked my step ladder, went to the fence and retrieved the cage, complete with a male rose-ringed parakeet, into our garden.

On closer inspection, the contraption was ingenious, albeit barbaric and cruel. It was surrounded with tens of very fine looped fish-wire loops arranged in hang-man nooses which would trap anything that falls into them. I wouldn’t be surprise if those nooses – being so thin – would not completely sever the feet of poor unfortunate birds that land in them. My own fingers were trapped into them several times as I was dealing with the cage.

The cage itself was divided into two compartments, the top one inch contains some monkey nuts which the bird does not have access to – he has to make do with a wilted bit of apple and a couple of nuts, no water – and the bottom is where the decoy bird is, as clearly seen from the picture.

Decoy parakeet trapping cage with rose-ringed parakeet trapped inside
The whole contraption is well thought out. Even the pole that the cage is tied to is well thought out, it is constructed in a modular format in three sections, one fitting on top of the other – lego style, which is how the height of the trap is adjusted.

I cut the side of the cage while Frances tried to calm the bird a bit. I can tell you that it didn’t require too much encouragement to fly out.

Free at last.

Once that was done, I completely destroyed the cage, and waited for a knock on the door.

That didn’t take too long.

Two well turned out and very healthy looking young men in their twenties wanted to speak to me. The first question from one of them was “did you take the trap?”

“Yes,” I said, “and released the bird and destroyed the trap”

“Why? The trap was in the street beside your house!”

I couldn’t believe the cold heartedness of those guys.

“Yes, but you are taking ill-advantage of our goodness. What made you decide to place a trap there?”

“Because we noticed a lot of birds come here”

“Well, didn’t that intimate that we actually love birds, put out food for them to invite them into our garden and make them feel safe enough for them to return over a long period of time? What gives you the right to destroy all of our work? What gives you the right to take advantage of our efforts without any thought or consideration?”

“Yes but we were just trying to make a living!”

“Well son, you can make a more honourable living than stealing other people’s efforts in such a heinous manner. If you object to the way I dealt with your trap – and I shall continue to do so – then feel free to go to the police and complain.”

“No no, we don’t want to do that…”

“Fine, then don’t, but you both look intelligent enough and healthy enough to find a more honourable way to make a living. Not by taking advantage of other people right in their homes like this.”

Something must have clicked in their heads that they won’t win that morning, and they won’t get their contraption back. They apologized and went on their way. Hopefully never to be seen in our neighbourhood again.

The sad thing is I’ll probably find that the law is actually on their side and there is no law in this country to even limit the damage they are doing to the environment and wildlife.

This reminds me of the sad state of affairs that animals are kept in Bahrain, and particularly the despicable treatment animals are treated with in this country and the disgusting public souqs in which one could find any kind of domestic and exotic animal. All in the complete knowledge and acceptance of the authorities.

Isa Town Local Market animals Isa Town Local Market animals Isa Town Local Market animals Isa Town Local Market animals

Something should be done about this. Some cultural change must be invested in to get people to at least be a bit more compassionate to animals. I know that parliament is far too busy with other much more important things at the moment to even consider laws of animal protection, and the police – bless their hearts – are far too busy in their own way too…

Filed in: Culture

Comments (12)

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  1. Adel A. says:

    that’s awful!! .. well my friend, it’s just like what we say (tenfa5 fe jerba mag’9oo’9a) or something like that ..
    i gave up! :S ..

    nice to see you back though 🙂

  2. That’s really cruel. You should see how parrots are kept in Souq Waqif, it’s just as bad if not worse. I wrote a blog post some time ago about taking my kickboxing master to the souq in Isa Town
    http://suhailalgosaibi.com/2009/02/10/conversations-with-the-master-tortured-animals-and-other-anecdotes/

  3. Ali Qurban says:

    “The sad thing is I’ll probably find that the law is actually on their side and there is no law in this country to even limit the damage they are doing to the environment and wildlife”

    So if think the law might be on their side, what made you do what you did?!
    I don’t believe you have the right to confiscate and destroy the contraption just because it was put close to your premises.

    I don’t have any doubt about your good intentions, but that is not enough reason to make your own laws as if everybody does the same (for the same good reasons), you will definitely not like it.

  4. mahmood says:

    Very true Ali, I make no excuses that two wrongs would make a right. However, finding myself in that position where our goodness was exploited for bad, I made a conscious decision which I still stand by.

  5. Mike says:

    Does Bahrain even have laws to protect our animals friends from abuse and maltreatment?

  6. steve the american says:

    Mahmood,

    If you go out into your driveway tomorrow and find one of these traps, a big one, the size of a truck, with maybe an iPod or iMac or iPhone laying in the middle of it, DON’T GO IN! Just back away, no matter how much you want to play with those gadgets. Back away, then run away.

    Word to the wise, pal.

  7. mahmood says:

    @Mike, only cursory ones. There has been some reports in the press a few weeks ago of the authorities confiscating various wild animals and stepping up the campaign against importing them. I think from what I remember, a lynx has been cornered and killed, a big cat (can’t remember if if was a tiger or lion cub) has been confiscated, various snakes and other assorted creatures.

    I don’t think there has been any change in the law since I last looked into this issue.

    And I dare say there has not been any change in the cultural perception of animals’ rights either.

  8. mahmood says:

    @Steve that would be extremely difficult!

  9. Ali Qurban says:

    Mahmood,

    Nothing worries me more than “conscious decisions”!!

    Those who kill in the name of religion, those who oppose secular laws and empowerment of women are taking “conscious decisions” too, it is just that the conscious is something very hard to define and everybody has a different kind of it, hence it is always better to stick with the laws so to not give others an excuse to break them too as it all starts from something small and done on good-hearted basis like what you did.

    Any ways, it is very philosophical discussion and I don’t want to bore you with it, just accept my advice and don’t take any further “conscious decisions”

  10. Mike says:

    “And I dare say there has not been any change in the cultural perception of animals’ rights either.”

    That’s unfortunate considering the man at the top is a self-proclaimed animal lover!… (so he says)

  11. Miranda says:

    Mahmood, what you did was very honourable. What they did was cruel and inhumane and as a decent human being you did the right thing by destroying that trap. If you saw a cat hanging from a noose*, fighting for its life would it be wrong to cut down the rope just because that rope belongs to someone? I don’t think so.

    Sorry Ali Qurban but I don’t agree with your argument.

    * I saw this in Al Ain, UAE a few times while I lived there, I was aways to late to cut that rope.

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