Sir David Attenborough, Britain’s best-loved broadcaster, answers your queries
Dear Sir David,
I’ve always loved your shows, especially the bits where through careful editing and narration you grow to love a violent animal, and root for it to maul a zebra to death to feed its bloodthirsty young.
I’ve always yearned to be such an animal and with all the crime of late – shoplifting, misgendering, online fraud – I feel I could contribute to society by dressing as a leopard and taking criminals down as a masked vigilante.
Acting where the wheels of justice turn too slow, I’d disguise my face and assume a secret identity as a geography teacher, coincidentally my current job. I’d be a predator on the creatures of the night in Ashby-de-la-Zouch.
Anyway, what are your thoughts? For context, I don’t have a car or much capital, so for now I’d just cycle around on my pedal bike with a lead pipe or a claw hammer.
Let me thank you for your letter and reassure you that you’re not alone in feeling this urge. Indeed, when faced with man-made ecological tragedy, I myself have often considered turning to vigilantism far beyond the antics of those, and forgive me for using this term, pussies Extinction Rebellion.
Were I to indulge these fantasies, I’d go by the moniker Killer Whale (based on the common name for Orcinus orca). The law so rarely punishes those ne’er-do-wells ruining our planet for future generations. I would drop them in the Sahara deset and leave them to die.
Greta Thunberg could be my sidekick, called the Poison Dart Frog and wearing an appropriate costume to slip Polonium-210 into the coffee cups of oil magnates – but forgive an old man, I’m getting carried away.
To you. I would recommend finding a tighter focus for your vigilantism. Crime, as much as an excited man with a hammer and his aunt’s mispurposed leopard-skin clothing might like, does not lurk around every corner in Leicestershire. And real leopards spend all day sleeping in trees.
Why not concentrate on littering? It’s a crime everyone abhors, you could stab the litter with a sharp spike thereby allieviating your evident anger issues, and you’re ideally placed to come across evidence of other crimes like theft, underage drinking, human trafficking and the enriching of uranium by rogue states.
Leave the claw hammer at home. Dress as whatever animal you like. I am 97 and will not see the results of your work but I trust it will usher in a juster world.
With all best wishes,
Sir David Attenborough