Shame on the BBC. And shame on their wildlife show, "Autumnwatch," for broadcasting images of the corpse of a squirrel that had been electrocuted outside the garden shed of Bill Oddie, the show's presenter. The squirrel died after gnawing on electrical wire outside Oddie's North London home.
Yes, this stuff happens. Squirrels gnaw, they get electrocuted, they die horrible deaths. The newspapers are filled with stories about how towns, parts of cities, and other jurisdictions lose power because of squirrels gnawing electrical lines. A squirrel once shut down part of the New York Stock Exchange this way. A squirrel once shut down part of the massive Metro North train system, between Manhattan and Westchester County, in just this way.
And yes, in each case, the squirrel died.
The image would have been disturbing enough but Oddie could not leave well enough alone. He then is quoted as saying to viewers: ‘Better red than dead . . . or grey.’ He subsequently added: ‘Let all squirrels watching be warned, because you can get too cocky.’
I suppose he fancies himself a wit, having said all that. I suppose he thinks he is terribly clever.
I hope the BBC takes a good hard look at him and his show - which is immensely popular among TV viewers in the UK. Any host of a show who can take delight in, or see something amusing, in this kind of death - in ANY kind of unnecessary death of an animal - might need to have his appropriateness (or lack thereof) re-evaluated.
I hope the BBC pulls the plug on Oddie. No doubt he would still feel some kind of shock - but fear not, Oddie fans, it will only stun him a wee bit.