Nation mourns bird killed in domino shooting
Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:26 AM ET15
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch animal lovers are mourning a sparrow shot dead after it fluttered into an exhibition hall and knocked over thousands of dominoes set up in preparation for a world record attempt.
The sparrow will be commemorated in a live Dutch television broadcast of the domino-toppling Friday after a wave of national outrage at the shooting.
“We know we are responsible for a lot of emotion in the country and we realize we couldn’t go on without properly marking this,” said Jeroen van Waardenberg, a spokesman for reality TV company Endemol, the firm behind “Big Brother.”
An exterminator shot the sparrow Monday in the northern city of Leeuwarden after fears the bird could upset more of the 4 million dominoes which staff had spent weeks balancing on their edges for the record attempt.
Dutch animal rights groups are outraged, especially as sparrows are a protected species in the Netherlands.
Hundreds of condolence messages have been posted on a website for the sparrow (www.dodemus.nl), which has attracted 200,000 hits.
Yeah, this is what we Dutchies bother about, not the mess the world is becoming, noooo, we bother about one little bird being shot. In case you get worked up about it, they had tried for an hour or two I believe, to catch the thing which didn’t work.
Although, there was something funny on tv tonight. We have this comedyshow thing which is called “Mooi! Weer de Leeuw” (trans.:Good! de Leeuw again). And Paul de Leeuw, the presenter, had organised a cremation for the bird. An official car arrived with carriers and all that carried this tiny coffin, shaped like a domino stone, and it had wreaths on it (one, supposedly, from Sesame Street’s Big Bird) and such. Then he and some artists with birdnames in their name sang some songs adjusted to fit the bird and then it was carried away and ‘cremated’ in a microwave. It was hilarious.