SI Vault
December 01, 1969
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December 01, 1969


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The next time a hockey writer refers to mayhem on the ice, he may have to take care that he is choosing his legal terms precisely. For the first time in the history of the sport, players involved in hockey violence have had charges pressed against them by police.

Boston Defenseman Ted Green and St. Louis Left Wing Wayne Maki fought a fine old traditional stick duel during an exhibition game between the Bruins and the Blues in Ottawa Sept. 21. Green's skull was fractured. Now Ottawa police have charged the two with assault causing bodily harm. Somehow it seems a reasonable sort of case.


Years ago Peter Beard left New York's high society to live among the wildlife of the East African bush. While becoming one of the world's most renowned photographers of the elephants, antelopes, giraffes, zebras, rhinos and hippos there, he grew to despise—immoderately, as it happens—the poachers and hunters who are slowly killing them off.

Eighteen months ago Beard found a dead antelope in a poacher's trap near his home outside Nairobi. Enraged he set out to catch the poacher, and when he spotted an African approaching another trap nearby, he jumped him. With the help of his Somali servant, Beard beat the man up, stuffed a glove in his mouth and used wire from the traps to tie his hands to one tree and his feet to another. Then he walked off and left the suspected poacher hanging there. Eventually the man—who turned out to be the servant of one of Beard's neighbors—was found and freed by passersby. He reported Beard to the police, and last May Beard was arrested.

When Beard came to trial a fortnight ago, his attorney admitted all the charges and appealed to the mercy of the court, after portraying Beard as a passionate defender of wildlife. The court found that portrait insufficient mitigation of the defendants' "barbaric and outrageous deed." Beard and his servant each were sentenced to 18 months in prison and 12 lashes with a rhinocerous-hide whip—in Kenya a relatively lenient sentence.

An appeal has been filed, but it probably will not be considered until after the December elections—no Kenyan politician wants to face the voters when he might even remotely be thought to have rescued a white man who strung up an African.

In the meantime Beard had his head shaved and was put into a filthy cell in Nairobi prison before being released on bail last week. His 18 African cell mates treated him "like an officer," according to a friend who visited, and Beard's spirits are high. His main concern is not the prospect of prison and the whip but the threat of being deported—away from the threatened animals he loves and took such inhumane measures to protect.

Not since journeyman Pitcher Robert (Ach) Duliba broke in with the Cardinals in 1959 has there appeared on the sporting scene a better—or if you prefer, a worse—nickname. It is owned by a forward for the semipro basketball Orangemen of Albany, N.Y. He is Richard (Albie) Damm.

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