National Library of Australia
Last year I wrote about when animals attack: stories of animals shooting men with guns. However, this is not a one-sided occurence. I have found many stories in Trove of men and women biting a wide range of animals.
The first one I found was a short article in the Albury Banner of Wodonga Express from 19 August 1938. A Paris man was taken to an observation ward after being caught in the act of biting his dog: 'The dog tried to bite my trousers, so I thought I would get in first'.
Another man protested: 'It's my dog. I can bite it if I want to'. He was caught in his kitchen by police trying to bite his dog, according to the article from the Worker (Brisbane, QLD) on 15 May 1950. We wonder what this dog did to provoke his human?
An eighty year old woman bit her dog, Jujube, three times in court to prove that he wouldn’t attack anyone, reported the Northern Times (Carnarvon, WA) on 12 March 1948. She was still fined however, as the magistrates were not convinced.
But it’s not all man bites dog. Many other animals have been bitten for various reasons.
This Canberra Times article from 31 January 1951, explains that a Swaziland man was lucky to escape being eaten alive by a fifteen foot crocodile after he bit it on the snout while it was dragging him into the river.
A man from India stood his ground against a cobra that bit him nine times, by grabbing the snake and biting it in return. Ten times! The cobra died while the man recovered, reported the Northern Times (Carnavon, WA) on 25 October 1946.
The Cairns Post shared a story from Michigan on 16 May 1953 that tells the story of a sailor who was fined 10 dollars for disorderly conduct. Why exactly? Because he had bought a bear cub and when the bear bit the sailor, the sailor bit the bear.
Nicholas Appu from Columbo was sentenced to three weeks ‘rigorous imprisonment’ for pulling out a bull’s tongue, biting off a piece and then spitting it onto the road. The bull was one of two that was harnessed to Appu’s wagon. According to the story, which was reported in the Northern Star (Lismore) on 31 December 1934, ‘it was usual for carters to bite the ears and tails of bulls who were refractory’.
A Ballarat man was fined 10 shillings for biting a cat’s tail and removing a piece of skin. The Argus from 23 September 1921 reported that the cat, which was missing from its home, was found by George Armstrong and another person. George took the cat off his companion, who was petting it, bit the cat’s tail and then handed the cat and a piece of skin back.
Humans should be wary of animals getting the upper hand, because who hasn’t had a pet cat come over for a pat and then received a sharp pain when they’ve kneaded their claws into your lap? But the animal kingdom should keep an eye out for the rare times when humans will bite back!
If you find any more articles which show humankind and animals getting snippy with one other, feel free to tag them, perhaps with ‘animals attack’. We love adding to our collection of them.
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