THE abuse of animals is terribly repulsive and those that ill-treat animals in whatever form are thoroughly reprehensible and society should frown upon such practice to send a strong message to would-be offenders.
We have had cases of people starving their pigs, overworking and injuring their donkeys while some beat their dogs badly, with some even denying them food.
The list of the kinds of abuse, as they say, is endless.
However, there is a worrying trend of sexual abuse of the poor animals. Not only is it bizarre but it raises questions about the mental state of the perpetrators.
Just last week we carried a story on a man in Gokwe who was caught ‘‘raping’’ his neighbour’s chickens. Just imagine a grown man raping a helpless chicken!
We associate chicken with delicacy, as chicken meat is usually eaten during special occasions.
However, it would seem some men actually find the delicacy quite erotic.
As if the chicken affair was not enough, elsewhere in this edition we carry a story of three men, again from Gokwe, who were caught by their neighbour while they were in the process of raping his donkey.
In both instances, when the offenders were caught they bolted in shame, showing to a certain extent that they were still in charge of their faculties since they knew society would not accept their acts.
It then raises questions over what could have driven a man to lust over a chicken.
We believe it would not be amiss for us to hazard a guess that probably some unscrupulous healer or prophet could be prescribing such unconventional ways to their patients.
It is embarrassing enough to be caught having sex in the bush with a woman. It should be a grave disaster to be caught with a donkey in a similar setting.
However, in the case of the three men, we hear that they allegedly took turns to rape the animal.
In fact, two of the suspects are still on the run after outrunning fellow villagers that tried to catch them on the scene, with only one having been caught but denying the charges.
We believe traditional leadership should look into the matter and find out what could be driving people into such bizarre practices.
One man with a twisted mind can hide in the bush and abuse a donkey, but to have three men helping one another and taking turns to abuse the poor animal, without any shame, certainly points to another force that needs to be investigated.
While the law will take its course, if the causative factors are not addressed we may keep hearing of such cases from some parts of the country.
We applaud villagers for upholding our values and getting such malcontents arrested and urge the public to report any cases of abuse, whether against animals or humans.