Monday, July 11, 2005

Of Note: Counting Sheep



Yesterday in Turkey, a single sheep ran off a cliff to its death, and 1,500 other sheep followed it. This is amazing to me. The first 450 sheed actually died, but the rest survived after landing on the pillowy mass of the others who'd jumped before them. The AP reported that the "stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 [sheep lept] off the same cliff."

What I want to know is, where were those shepherds eating breakfast?? I mean, how far does a shepherd stray from his flock for a meal? They could see the sheep, but they couldn't get to them before 1500 jumped? And what about sheep dogs? Where were they? Hanging out with the shepherds hoping for scraps? I mean, even my dog Bonny would know something funny was going on if she saw all those sheep running off a cliff, and she's a half-breed herding dog who's never seen a sheep, let alone herded one. She nips my heels if I start running, and I don't even have to be headed toward a cliff. So what gives? Obviously the blame for the mass-suicide falls on that first sheep, but the whole thing just baffles me a little. I want more details.

What amazed me most was this: "The estimated loss to families in the town of Gevas, located in Van province in eastern Turkey, tops $100,000, a significant amount of money in a country where average GDP per head is around $2,700." That's tragic.

I first heard about this story on my cell phone's news ticker -- it was actually the top breaking news story last night, which makes me wonder about the media outlet my phone service uses to determine what qualifies as breaking news. It's definitely an interesting story, don't get me wrong -- it raises all kinds of questions about pack psychology. But breaking news on a flashing red banner in the middle of my phone? Wow.

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4 Comments:

Blogger lhooq said...

becka; washington post is ok, but yahoo got the photo.

i'm never going to be able to sleep on a billowy pillow again.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/turkey_sheep_suicide

2:48 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Skloot said...

Oh man ... the poor sheep! You're right, the Yahoo News story definitely topped the Washington Post with that picture, no question. Thanks for posting it!

But who are you? I know I know you because you spelled my name right, and nobody but my friends and family do that ;-)

6:55 PM  
Blogger Yeshai said...

Such is the life (or death) of many. This is the norm to even our race. ;)

9:08 PM  
Blogger Carney Man said...

Yeah, that is a loss. Sheep, by definition, are stupid. They are one of the dumbest species on earth, next to humans. Sheep mass suicide is just more interesting than our ways of doing it. And these guys just took the whole saying about "if your friend jumps off a cliff, would you" way too seriously.

9:22 PM  

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