Sunday, January 30, 2005

The State murders Tarzan

Bill and Sue-on Hillman host THE ultimate website for fans and scholars of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of Tarzan, John Carter of Mars (aka Barsoom), and other classic adventure heroes. In their news section, they've posted a very interesting "retro news item":
Tarzan Poisoned

TARZANA RANCH, May 12, 1924 -- (To the Editor of The LA Times)

I wish to register a protest against the ruthless and inconsiderate methods of the government Biological Department in the placing of poison in the hills without proper posting or other notification.

Last Saturday morning the papers carried a notice to the effect that the quarantine was lifted in the Santa Monica Mountains east of Topanga Canyon, and on Sunday morning we rode back into the hills and took one of our dogs with us. There was no poison sign posted on the gate through which we passed or in any part of the hills through which we rode, yet there was poison out, and our dog died before we reached home.

For nearly nine years this Airedale, who is known almost from coast to coast, has been the constant friend, companion and protector of my children. Those who have owned dogs know how closely the affections of a family are knit to these faithful friends and the grief of children when such a playmate is taken from them. The most casual amenities of social intercourse should have prompted the proper posting of the poisoned district, and that posting was possible is evidenced by the fact that when I rode this morning I found poison warning posted on the gate through which we took the dog Sunday morning -- put there too late.

No action on my part can bring "Tarzan" back to my children, but I am in hope that some publicity may help to safeguard other animals in the future.

Very sincerely yours,


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