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Animal April Fool’s

Most of the animal-themed April Fool’s jokes this year play on   our overwhelming desire to befriend, understand and get close to our animals.

Michigan’s State-Sponsored Canned Deer Hunts
The Detroit Free Press was the boldest and funniest, with a plan to corral Michigan’s 1.7 million deer and allow canned hunts in an effort to prevent bovine tuberculosis. “Hunters could drive to any of the eight or 10 state deer ranches after breakfast — no more need to get up before dawn — and be in a stand by noon. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to shoot the deer and get home in time to watch the football game,” a bogus biologist said. State financial crisis? Solved!

Google Translate for Animals
Google gave us a bit of wish fulfillment with Google Translate for Animals, which comes just its only marginally less amazing program to translate a ton of human languages. Hold your Google Android up to an animal and finally get to understand what they’re saying. Their demonstration animals were all mushy, only offering compliments and affection. I’d have liked to see more opinionated animals, critiquing outfits, their food, their human handlers.

Montana State Flower
An outdoors writer for the Billings Gazette wrote about a  proposal to recycle all those obsolete, giant satellite dishes at camp sites, providing both shade and some controversial outdoor television enterntainment.

Nanaimo Non-Mermaid
The poor folks at the Nanaimo News on Vancouver Island no longer have a prank story about a mermaid sighting on their website. All they have is this pathetic explanation “for those who missed the clues” that wends its way to the serious point behind it all…”pollution is no laughing matter”…blah, blah, blah. This kind of thing–along with all the other hacky, humorless stories out today bemoaning that offshore oil drilling or whatever sounds like an April Fool’s joke but it’s serious–is exactly what gives animal lovers and environmentalists a bad name.

Who’s Your Emperor Now, Mr. Penguin?
Animals make a natural subject for April Fool’s Day pranks. Or so says the Museum of Hoaxes, a hoax authority quoted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, though they count such innanities as calling the zoo and asking for Mr. Lion and such. Occassionally a prankster will hoax an animal, like Tokyo Ueno Zoo did in 2005, putting human emperor penguins in their place with a human-sized overlord.

Where to Go to See Weird Animals

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