Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/27/rzsl_week_2/

Lurking badgers, gay storks and German bears

It's been an eventful week for the RZSL™

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Science, 27th May 2006 08:02 GMT

RZSL For the uninitiated, we at Vulture central decided last week it's time to chronicle the battle for supremacy between the members of the animal kingdom.

News from Germany this week that bears had reappeared after a 170-year absence will not come as a shock to readers au fait with recent Scandinavian incursions. Shockingly, locals initially welcomed the invader. After the beast went on a bloodthirsty rampage, eviscerating Bavarian sheep, officials changed tack, and hunters have now been ordered to shoot it on sight. Reuters reports Bavarian Environment Minister Werner Schnappauf saying: "It is now a problem bear. A man-bear encounter could occur at any time. It cannot be allowed to roam freely."

A man-bear encounter could not occur at any time? We couldn't agree more. But as the Deutschland disemboweler is still on the loose, were it not for a bear karate-kicking Finnish woman, this story would only extend their lead at the top of the RZSL™.

Meanwhile, Norway's Aftenposten reports an attempt by badgers to skip millions of years of evolution and go straight from living in a hole in the dirt to centrally-heated Ikea-style Nordic homesteads. Coming home after a night on the sauna tiles, a man found one snarling under his bed. Most worryingly for Norwegians, their security services were no match for just one angry badger: “The rudely awakened animal ran around the room and ultimately overturned the bed, prompting the police to beat a retreat.”

A good week all round for miscellaneous mammals in fact, as after last week's prostitution of NZ cows, a Wiltshire heifer showed its solidarity by charging a police car.

Finally, birds indicated they were above the whole sorry scrabble. It seems that, for storks, it doesn't matter if you're gay, lesbian, or straight, you're still a good parent.

Here's the standings:

RZSL™ standings – 26/5/06:

  1. Bear division
  2. Miscellaneous mammals
  3. Birds (vultures exempt)
  4. Humans
  5. Reptiles (including the British Royal Family)
  6. Insects
  7. Amphibians
  8. Monkeys/apes/fooballers/evicted Big Brother contestants

No news is good news for amphibians. The lack of random cricket-battings together woeful spectacle in human misery playing out nightly on Channel 4shifts them up a place. Likewise, the plucky Finnish bear fightback lift human spirits. But the hairyness dominates the top, and the bear's ascendancy could be under threat given a few more elephant farmer stompings. Stay tuned, eyes peeled. ®