The death of the last surviving Thatcher, once considered the most fearsome of all the big Tory Beasts has put renewed focus on the dwindling numbers of Tories who once roamed freely through the Jungles of Middle England.
David Hanley, Head of Right Wing Mammalogy at Whipsnade Zoo explained, ‘The loss of the Thatcher (Grocerus Polltaxus) just leaves a handful of the community left in the wild.’
Creatures such as the Clarke (Realus Aleus), with its distinctive florid facial markings and wildly oscillating call, and the Heseltine (Tarzanus Tarzanus) known for its dramatic plumage are considered by many to be last of a once proud species. But for Dr Hanley, time appears to be ticking for them as well.
He explained, ‘The situation is grim. The Clarke has actually managed to survive for a surprisingly long time. At one point it looked like it might become the Alpha male of the group but it was never really popular with the rest of the pack. Now it feels as if it’s just waiting to be put out of its misery. The Heseltine has become even more reclusive. It just pops it head up above ground every now and then as if to remind everyone of itself, but no one else seems remotely bothered.’
The Thatcher had long been extinct in the wild, and with the last captive specimen dying last week, all attempts to repopulate the species have gone to waste, ‘The Thatcher had been on its last legs for a while, and despite our best efforts it hasn’t really produced much in the way of offspring. It did mate once, but the results were rather lame. We released one of the runts into the wild but it got hopelessly lost and had to be airlifted back to its mother after 5 days.’
Hopes had risen that a number of smaller, sub-species might assimilate themselves into the group at the top of the herd, however such hopes quickly floundered. ‘For a while it looked like the Gove (Useluss Ebbacus) and the Mitchell (Cyclus Plebus) might breathe new life into the pack but they both seem to be rapidly fading. There were also some high hopes for the Pickles (Lambus Passandarus.) We tried to capture one so that we could study it more closely, but unfortunately we couldn’t find a tranquiliser dart big enough.
However some good news has come in the form of the Johnson (Mayorus Philanderus) which is currently thriving. The Johnson is quite literally the great white hope for the Tory flock, or ‘bolus’ to use the right collective noun. It looks like a quite ungainly, almost loveable creature. But beneath its lumbering exterior lurks a creature of fearless ambition. And it’s shaggy white fleece and unique mating call of ‘Whiff Whaff’ has proved remarkably successful with the females.