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kites
red kite
reign of terror
extreme case
local college
Red Kites Or Red Kites?
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Red Kites Or Red Kites?

Ever come across a news article with a title such as: "Red kites swoop on children eating lunch in Watlington" and couldn't help but picture a bunch of people holding red kites? Maybe they were giving out free red kites you say. No way Jose, not these red kites. Apparently, a red kite is a bird of prey indigenous to all regions north of the equator other than the Americas. Did you know there are black kites too? Black kites, red kites, snail kites; it's an honest mistake.

Anyway, these red kites were extinct in Oxfordshire and England since 1871. Only since the 90s, have the conservationists re-introduced them and so the red kites slowly began their reign of terror upon the locals. One of the farmers in the area, Susan Hemmache, was complaining about how the red kites snatched up her chickens and chicklets away from her yard. She was also stopped in the road by a cat who turned out to be a red kite! To top it off, it then flew away with a squirrel! The red kites are menacing beasts indeed and give the impression that they are a bit lacking in the self-control department.

Another incident involves disheartened students at the local college and a few too many red kites. As if it wasn't enough just having child bullies anymore, now there's red kites too? The school lunch problem seems to have just gotten a whole lot worse. These red bullies are known to have a tendency to swarm lunch tables and impose their will on the students' food. In one extreme case, an 8 year student was cut bad by a red kite and consequently had to get a tetanus jab. For those of you who are not familiar with the condition, tetanus is a medical condition where varying degrees of spasms occur and are caused by the Clostridium tetani bacterium, which is known to commonly reside inside rust.

A local wing commander even states that birds could very easily get sucked into jet engines as well as are a present hazard for any helicopters flying in the region.

So why with all these problems would anyone let these red kites swoop around? Why not just shoot them down and stuff them like they did back in the day? Currently there are about 500 to 600 breeding pairs in the region and growing. Apparently, it's because they attract tourism to the area and are described to be "outstanding natural beauties". A minority of the locals would rather fly red kites from China than co-exist with these dangerous birds of prey. Traditional Chinese kites handcrafted like red goldfish are known to be rather peaceful in comparison, embellish the natural aquarium in the sky, and are "outstanding natural beauties" to many a people as well.

Red Kite Image is © 2009 Photo by Hans Hillewaert (Lycaon)


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