Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Only in Moscow: Naked, Dead Guy in an Owl Cage

So every so often (actually, pretty much every day), one is reminded that Russia really is a different place. I love Russia's randomness (I'm not the only one), and one of my favorite examples was a news story in the Moscow Times a few months ago, reprinted for your bewilderment below:

Man Found Dead, Naked Inside Owl Cage
Moscow Times, 22 March 2007

A scantily clad, 32-year-old man was found dead early Monday in a pool of blood in an owl cage at the Moscow Zoo.

A bird keeper at the zoo found the man, Alexander Luparev at about 10 a.m., lying in the cage, which is home to a Siberina long-tailed tawny owl.

Vladimir Zdorenko, deputy prosecutor at the Presnenskaya interdistrict prosecutor's office, said it was not clear what killed the man ---blood loss from a blow to the head, or freezing to death.

Luparev's clothes were strewn across the concrete base of the cage. Also found were his documents, an undisclosed amount of money, and a half-empty, one-liter bottle of vodka.

Sometime after midnight, Luparev climbed the gates of the staff entrance of the zoo, which is on Krasnaya Presnya Ulitsa, opposite the Krasnopresnenskaya metro station, prosecutors believe.

Luparev is believed to have been drunk.

He then made his way through the zoo and entered the unlocked owl cage via an unguarded staff entrance.

At this point, no one quite knows what happened. Luparev apparently hit his head on the ground -- possibly following an altercation with the owl -- and fell unconscious.

He is believed to have died between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. The owl, which flew out of its cage after the incident, was found perched in a tree next door to the zoo Tuesday evening.

"The owl is still in a state of shock," zoo spokeswoman Natalya Istratova said Wednesday. She added that the owl was not eating or drinking and that she feared for its life.

Istratova declined to name the bird keeper who found Luparev. "She hasn't stopped crying," she said.

Yes, it's true, and there's nothing I can possibly add to this...

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