Okay, so I’m morbid. Big deal.
In addition to Hurricane Sandy’s brutality to the east coast (very prosaic by Day after Tomorrow standards, and yes, I did watch the movie to put things into perspective), the last week’s headlines have included two shark attacks, a three year old boy killed by a pack of painted dogs in a Pittsburgh zoo, and THIS: the harrowing account of a single Nepalese leopard who is believed to have killed and eaten 15 people in the last year and a half. Buried in the text, I found this gem of information:
Maheshwor Dhakal, an ecologist at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation in Kathmandu, agreed that it is unusual to find more than one or two man-eating animals in one area. Most leopards live on wild prey. “Since human blood has more salt than animal blood, once wild animals get the taste of salty blood they do not like other animals like deer,” Dhakal said.
When I saw this, a little blinker went off in my mind. It all suddenly made sense… humans are obviously tasty animals, but why? Of course! IT’S THE SALT.
In this leopard’s defense, if I were given the choice between an unlimited “acceptable” diet of bland, stringy deer, or a strictly forbidden diet of delicious human flesh rich in salt (preferably with garlic butter, but wild animals can’t be choosy), I would almost certainly be a man-eater. And in this leopard’s further defense, there *are* an awful lot of humans these days. In fact, though exact numbers are difficult to come by, it looks like there are approximately 250,000 leopards worldwide — just about one for every 30,000 humans on the planet. And in this leopard’s even further defense, it probably has really pretty eyes.
If I were to offer the Leopard one word of caution (other than to watch out for people with guns), it would be: watch your sodium intake. That shit’s not good for your heart. Excess salt intake may end up being just as deadly as revenge-motivated humans with modern firearms =/