Not since Small Ball Fever hit panzootic proportions seven years ago has The Park been in such a state of high alert, says the Department of Well-Being and Safety (DWBS).
At a press briefing early this morning, DWBS Director of Public Relations Cornelius Kakapo confirmed the “All Paws on Deck” state at the Park Hospital for the Afflicted and Infirm, as well as at all specialty clinics, as The Park faces the official end of hibernation tomorrow.
“December 1 was the best and safest date we could come up with under the circumstances. But we still knew we’d taken a risk with Animals’ lives.” — Dr. Jagger Zebu, Professor of Mammalian Medicine at the University of West Terrier
“Even last year, [after the] Tulip Map debacle, when we saw the largest number of Animals suffering from Tulip-Related Illness…that is going to look small in comparison to what we believe we’re about to face,” he said.
Last year’s jump in the number of cases of Tulip-Related Illness (TRI) was due to a fault in the official Tulip Map, which is used in the Spring by a large number of The Park’s residents as a tool for sourcing food.
After the map’s producers discovered the presence of toxic substances in the bulbs’ planting areas, they deemed the map unsafe and recalled it. Unfortunately, the recall came too late for the majority of hibernators and that resulted in a huge spike in the number of cases of TRI.
“Not to diminish the importance of TRI, but this year, due to our delayed hibernation, The Park’s hibernating population faces the possibility of decimation as a result of deaths from premature awakening,” says Dr. Jagger Zebu, Professor of Mammalian Medicine at the University of West Terrier.
Dr. Zebu, who is one of the authors of a report that documents the rise in the incidence of deaths due to premature awakening, was among the experts consulted by the 2013 Archons and the DWBS after the problem with the POPS election caused a delay in the official hibernation date.
On the hot seat recently as a guest of Yannis Tavros on Toro Talk Radio, Dr. Zebu admitted that the date of December 1, a full two weeks later than usual, was “the best and safest date we could come up with under the circumstances.”
“But we still knew we’d taken a risk with Animals’ lives by delaying hibernation at all. We are hoping for the best outcome possible, but we know we will have to do better in the future,” he said.
Archons bow to pressure: hibernation to begin December 1
Hospital braces for flood of Tulip-Related Illness Victims
Deaths from premature awakening on the rise: study
Park braces for panzootic as Small Ball Fever claims new victim