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Bad News Is Good News

Updated on July 8, 2011

There is no such thing as bad news

There is a lot of truth in the statement "There is no such thing as bad news". Undoubtedly bad news is bad news for somebody but equally it will be good news and sometimes very good news for someone else. This is undoubtedly the case the world of zoos where in the event of someone being killed or seriously injured by an animal there will be a sharp rise in the number of visitors to the zoo in the days following the accident. I don't quite understand what it is in people which makes them want to do this.

It is not just a zoo phenomenon. People seem drawn to accidents. With modern technology the way it is there can be streams of cars heading to the site of some disaster within a short time of it occurring and so hampering the work of rescue workers.

Life is, happily, not always lost but somewhere someone is suffering. I recollect a huge ship being grounded on the beach in Rhos-on-Sea some years ago. Very bad news for someone. A headache and an expense lasting for some days before it was floated away. Meanwhile Rhos-on-Sea became something of a boom town as spectators streamed in. It was very very good news for Rhos and expensive bad news for the ship owners.

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On Sunday the 28th March a man climbed into the elephant enclosure at the Mumbai Byculla Zoo. Why he did it we will never know. Some say he was drunk and others that he was high on drugs. Perhaps he was mentally disturbed or even a combination of all three. Without knowing more of the situation it really should be looked upon as a sad state of affairs. He could be me, or you for that matter. None of us is ever that far from the edge whether we realise it or not.

He was killed of course. Elephants do not take too kindly to someone intruding on their territory and particularly someone who is behaving oddly. It wasn't the elephants fault. She just did what came naturally. The elephant in this case was Lakshmi, an animal of normally good temperament. Her companion Anarkali does not appear to have had any involvement in the unfortunate incident.

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As can be expected the number of visitors to the Mumbai Byculla Zoo have shot up since the accident with an extra special interest being shown in the elephants. On Tuesday the 30th March 2010 the elephants are still locked away. The behaviour of Lakshmi was so out of character that the zoo authorities thought it better to keep them locked away as a precaution and to observe.

Meanwhile the Zoo takings will have shot up. A man has died and so the zoo profits. It is all very sad really. One of the zoo staff has described Lakshmi as a 'Heroine' though I think that maybe he really means a 'Star'. I know just what he means. Meanwhile I feel sorrow for the man and his family wherever and whoever they are.

It is likely that the zoo will continue to have a steady rise in takings over the coming days as the incident remains fresh in peoples minds and on pages one to three of the newspapers.

Sadly Bad News is Good News for some.

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Submit a Comment
  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    mohammedwasifm - Thank you for reading.

  • mohammedwasifm profile image


    8 years ago from Chennai

    True - Bad News is Good News. News is News there is no good or bad. But really a sad story. Thanks for Sharing.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    Thanks Tony. Take care.

  • tonymac04 profile image

    Tony McGregor 

    8 years ago from South Africa

    At first I thought of schadenfreude but then I read WKoppin's comment and that made a lot of sense to me also.

    But what a sad story. I think I in a strange way feel sorriest for the elephants.

    Thanks for sharing

    Love and peace


  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    WKoppin - Thank you for your insight.

  • profile image


    8 years ago from Michigan

    It's perfectly natural for people to be drawn to sorrow/bad/unhappy events. It affirms, in some ways, the ties people have with thier own family, signifigant others, as a way to springboard new moves to strenghthen said bonds. However,I would also note that people enjoy others suffering, as an opposite, to feel better by the "sure glad it's no me" mentality. And though it sounds sadistic, it makes perfect sense, becuase it reafirms that how they are living is correct (like positive regard) If for instance, you had some expereince with a zoo animal that was bad and changed some habit; seeing someone else make a supitd mistake will likely initally make you feel gratitude that You took steps to rectify your behavior.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    theherbivorehippi - thank you for your honesty. Putting it into the perspective you have...yes I would brain an intruder into my home too (if I had a home). But this guy, I cannot help but feel sorry for him.

  • theherbivorehippi profile image


    8 years ago from Holly, MI

    It's amazing how shallow people are so drawn to tragedy. I say the guy got what he deserved. If someone came into my home and I felt myself or my pets were in danger I would have no problem killing them to protect my home and that is what the elephant did. It's human...or um, animal nature to protect themselves and what is theirs. Leave it to society today to be drawn to such an event. Not only was the man killed but I'm sure the elephant was probably disturbed of why someone would be invading their "safe" place. Excellent hub! Rated it up! :)

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    EllenGraeger - I really have no answer to your question. Just lots of theories. Maybe it is part of learning, a way to hone our instinct. Thanks for reading.

  • EllenGraeger profile image


    8 years ago from Madrid

    What does this tell us about the human nature ? Elephant kills human and the rest of the humans run to have a curious look - at what exactly ? Thank you for making us reflect, Peter.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    entertianmentplus - sad but true. Thanks for reading.

  • entertianmentplus profile image


    8 years ago from United States

    Interesting hub,but sad.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    Cheeky Girl - sad but true, retaliation is always a possibility. Thanks for commenting.

  • Cheeky Girl profile image

    Cassandra Mantis 

    8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    The Zoo management might have put the elephants away from view also for their own safety. I would not put it past someone to retaliate in some ridiculous way. Animals are an easy target. I have seen people enact cruelty there. The guy climbing into the elephant enclosure - what must he have been thinking? It's very sad. But the Zoo must go on. Glad it's doing well out of it all. I hear that Zoo attendances everywhere are up. Interesting hubs, as always, Peter.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    Hello hello - Thanks for reading.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    Sad story but you read that people will be doing it times and again. Thank you for hub.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    Springboard - I think that both of your proposals may well be correct. Thank you. It was interesting.

  • Springboard profile image


    8 years ago from Wisconsin

    It has been said that people attend hockey games for the fights. People attend auto races for the crashes. It is true that if there is an accident on the highway, it's not the accident itself that grinds traffic down to a slow crawl, it is the tantalizing prospect of carnage. People are gawking at the scene in a struggle to see bodies.

    I'm not sure what it is in our psyche, either, that causes this. Perhaps it's a bit of our survival mechanism. If we can see dangers, and see the consequence from inattention, stupidity, or recklessness, then situations such as these we bear witness to may just become etched in our memories enough to drive us away from similar fates.

    Or we're all just sick. ;)

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    8 years ago from South East Asia

    Ralph - You are right. The 'real' story sometimes gets forgotten in the excitement.

  • Ralph Deeds profile image

    Ralph Deeds 

    8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

    Sad story.


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