Born in the USA, ‘Boss’ the bull fetches record price in Bangladesh

In this photograph taken on August 7, 2019, a giant ox named Titanic walks inside the Sadeeq Agro farm in Dhaka. Boss the ox was sold for a record price and Messi just came second as Bangladesh prepares to sacrifice a record 10 million animals to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid al Adha early next week, officials said on August 8. (AFP)
Updated 08 August 2019

Born in the USA, ‘Boss’ the bull fetches record price in Bangladesh

DHAKA: “Boss,” a Brahman bull born in the USA but raised in Bangladesh, has been sold for a record price as the country prepares to sacrifice over 10 million animals to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha next week, officials said Thursday.
Tens of millions of Bangladeshis travel back to their homes across the country to celebrate the annual three-day religious holiday, which is known as the festival of sacrifice.
Muslims slaughter an animal — a goat, sheep, cow, or camel — during the festivities in a ritual stemming from the story of the prophet Abraham, commanded by God to slaughter his beloved son Ismail.
The meat is distributed in equal parts to the poor, relatives, and consumed by the family themselves. Millions of hides are donated to poor people and orphanages.
Raising animals for Eid Al-Adha is a major job creator, and there is fierce competition among farmers throughout the South Asian nation to rear the best-looking and heaviest cattle.
“Boss,” imported from the United States and reared at a farm on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, broke all records when it became the country’s most expensive sacrificial animal.
“It was sold for 3.7 million taka ($43,750),” owner Mohammad Imran Hossain said of the 1,400-kilogramme (about 3,100-pound) behemoth.
He told AFP the buyer was a garment factory owner.
Another Brahman bull — named “Messi” after the Argentine football star and raised at the same farm — sold for 2.8 million taka, the second-highest price this year.
Titanic, an Australian Holstein Friesian, fetched 1.7 million Taka.
Animal rights groups criticize Bangladesh’s practice of slaughtering animals at homes and front yards.
But authorities see the price war for Eid animals as a boon for the impoverished economy, particularly for farmers who have suffered heavy losses amid plunging rice prices in local markets.
“This year we have estimated that a record 10.7-million animal cows, goats, sheep and camels would be sacrificed during the Eid,” the head of the government’s livestock department, Hitesh Chandra Basak, told AFP.
He said local goats would make up some 60 percent of the sacrificial animals, followed by cattle.
In the past millions of head of cattle were smuggled from India to be slaughtered during Eid.
But tough border patrols imposed by the Hindu nationalist government in India, where Hindus consider cows sacred, sharply curtailed the trade.


Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

Updated 19 August 2019

Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

  • Then Russian Navy Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko wrote the letter when he was a 36-year-old aboard the Sulak
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.
Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 600 miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported.
“I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle,” Tyler Ivanoff said. “When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out.”
Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.
Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.
He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.
“There — exactly!” he exclaimed.
The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.
Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese liquor bottles, the latter kept over his wife’s protests.
Ivanoff’s discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.