(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)
Have you ever wondered how the rest of the world sees us? Have you sat there in your living room, asking yourself just what is it about our little country, populated by talented movie directors and athletes and full of adventure touristy ways to scare the living poo out of yourself that grabs international attention?
No, I haven’t either. However, had that been a question pinging around in my brain, I’d have had my answer this week.
An American friend I chat to online has been following a breaking news story here via the Stuff website. This woman has never been to New Zealand and I’ve never met her in the flesh but because we chat she makes a point of checking out the news from our little corner of the world.
So, what is the story that got her attention and prompted a lot of discussion on the US-based message board we both use? It’s Jin, the fugitive otter.
The story of Jin’s daring escape from Auckland Zoo and her subsequent life on the lam has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. All we need now is a one-armed man (or perhaps a one-flippered penguin).
I have to admit I’ve also been quite enthralled with the adventures of Jin as she continues to evade her would-be captors.
So there you have it, perhaps the world sees us as otterly besotted otter-spotters.
They’re interesting little critters, those otters and you’ll find more about them at the Houston Zoo’s website. Yes, I know Auckland Zoo has a website but I was particularly taken with just how happy the little otter pictured on the Houston Zoo site looked. Perhaps if Jin had been this happy she wouldn’t have done a runner.