south-african-fur-seals
Bob Pitchford

Let’s get one thing straight: Punching some things is funny (dicks, jeans), but punching some other things is not (seals). Case in point: a British zookeeper who just got suspended for punching a seal for no good reason. I know, you’re thinking, “What POSSIBLE good reason could there be for punching a seal?!” Have you considered that the seal might be the antichrist from those Left Behind books? Or what if the seal were actually an evil robot about to orchestrate a penguin rebellion? What if it were a zombie seal trying to eat the zookeeper’s brains, and the zookeeper couldn’t shoot the seal in the head, so a fist was the next best thing? (PETA, come at me.)

All RIGHT, it’s probably safe to conclude (as Bristol Zoo Gardens did) that the zookeeper had no good reason for punching the seal, and perhaps even some bad reasons. To be quite honest with you, we don’t know a lot about the seal-punching motivation. Although there’s this:

It has been alleged that a senior animal keeper punched the South American fur seal when handlers tried to weigh it.

Not so helpful. In fact, kind of troubling. However, the zoo issued a statement to reassure us that everything is OK:

“Michelle Barrows, head of veterinary services, has examined the seal family and all individuals are behaving normally, engaging happily and playfully with keepers and guests in their enclosure.

“The animal has been, and continues to be, on full public show.

“Bristol Zoo would like to make it very clear that it has a zero tolerance towards such behavior and takes its commitment to the highest standards of animal welfare and conservation seriously.”

Dude, you slapped a fiiiish. You punched it! Why would you hit it?! (Seriously, though. Don’t punch animals.)