SI Vault
December 02, 1968
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December 02, 1968


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So what is Veeck going to do to enliven racing? Well, "we have to attract young people, give them an identification, make them feel it's going to be gay and fun." O.K., but specifically. "Remember the Marx Brothers," Veeck specified, "in A Day at the Races?"



The following guideline has been tentatively laid down by some Japanese zoologists: "The best method for conserving the orangutan, one of the animals closest to man, is to treat it like a man." That is, fingerprint it.

Some time ago, to preserve the species from extinction, the world's zoos compacted not to buy orangutans except through approved channels. But at a recent international meeting of zoologists the Japanese were accused of winking at the illicit ape traffic in their country. Stung, the Japanese animal men came up with a face-saving plan: to fingerprint the nation's orangutans and have mug shots made of them.

The point is not to shift any opprobrium over to the orangutans themselves, but rather to keep them straight. If the proposal is officially adopted by the Japanese Zoological Association, every Japanese orangutan in good standing will have its face and prints on file so that, if an ape is picked up on suspicion of being clandestine, the authorities could just look it up.

As simple as that. Except that last week at the Tama zoo in Tokyo they tried to fingerprint the first orangutan, and the result, as reported by the scratched and sweating keeper who tried to do it, was that' 'after two hours of earnest persuasion, we ended up with fingerprints on everything except the official form. It is frustrating and difficult work."

The mug shots ought to be easier, though.


It is warming to know that, while the nation slogs through winter, someone is out there, somewhere, cooking up a fast new end-around on the United States Auto Club for next spring's Indianapolis 500. Everyone recalls last year's wonderful controversy involving the turbo-cars—which didn't win anyway but did provoke the USAC old guard to slap enough restrictions on the racing rebels to put them down for all time. Well, it turns out there is more than one way to perk up a car.

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