Maybe a boar isn’t an elephant, but in Afghanistan, it’s a rarity

 

McClatchy Newspapers

"Exotic species" are different in Afghanistan. For example, the Kabul Zoo is home to what’s thought to be the nation’s only captive pig, really a massive boar. Pork is haram, or forbidden, in Islam, hence the lack of domestic swine.

A sign outside his enclosure seems to say his name is Sarkozy, like the former French president, but the zoo’s director, Aziz Gul Saqib, insists that the boar has no name.

The boar was a gift from China, and he was a favorite of Karl Eikenberry, a previous U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, who grew up in North Carolina, where the campaign to revive the Kabul Zoo began. Eikenberry visited the Kabul Zoo several times, including the day before he left the country in 2011. During a recent interview, Saqib gleefully showed off a photo of Eikenberry hand-feeding sugar to the pig, and he said the ambassador had visited the pig several times during his tenure here.

The boar’s odd status in Afghanistan was underlined in 2009, when he was briefly taken off exhibit in the middle of a swine flu scare. He posed no threat, but Afghans didn’t really understand the disease and visitors to the zoo worried that they might contract it from him, Saqib said.

Email: jayprice@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @jayatnando

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
This Friday, April 18, 2014 photo shows the Jewish settlement of  Bat Ayin, north of the West Bank city of Hebron. The settlement is known for its hardline population. While Israeli settlers in the West Bank fall mostly under civilian rule, Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law. Israeli and Palestinian youths face inequities at every stage in the path of justice, from arrests to convictions and sentencing, according to police statistics obtained by The Associated Press through multiple requests under Israel's freedom of information law.

    A look at the dual justice system in the West Bank

    Israeli and Palestinian minors accused of crimes in the West Bank are subject to two different sets of laws. Israeli settlers are prosecuted under Israeli civilian law, while Palestinians are thrust into the military justice system. Critics complain that the conviction rate in the military system is higher and the penalties stiffer. Here are some statistics about juvenile arrests between 2008 and 2013 from Israel's national police force:

  • Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    A Malaysia Airlines flight heading to India with 166 people aboard made an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur early Monday after it was forced to turn back when a tire burst upon takeoff, the airline said.

  •  
A helicopter flies over the area near the Jamijarvi Airfield, southwest Finland, where a small passenger plane carrying parachuters fell to the ground, Sunday April 20, 2014. At least three people were killed in the crash, three were rescued and five are still missing, local media have reported. (AP Photo/Mika Kenerva, Lehtikuva)     FINLAND OUT

    8 killed in Finland parachutist plane accident

    Finnish officials say eight people died when a small plane carrying parachutists crashed to the ground and caught fire.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category