Одна из самых независимых и уважаемых (по крайней мере нами) московских газетThe Moscow Times в своей интернет версии дала забавную заметку о нашем проекте в довольно позитивном ключе.


Kevin O'Flynn

If you are ever in Africa and you see a Russian drinking a can of Castle Milk Stout as if it was his morning kefir, ask to see his zebra skins.

"We genuinely consider ourselves Russian-Africans," write the hunters and trackers at www.zebraskin.ru where, apart from writing about their love for the stout, they sell zebra skins.

Tales on the site -- advertised just above "anytime Katya" in this paper -- are told with a strange mix of bravado, chutzpah and eco-concern.

To paraphrase their description of an average day: The unregistered revolver is under the pillow, a rifle with elephant bullets is in the safe, the electrified fence turned on and the sound is of lions roaring twenty meters from your bed, the cackle of hyenas and the buzz of the anti-malaria fan above the bed.

If Katherine Hepburn had walked in and asked for a ride down the river, the scene would have been perfect.

They describe their vaguely familiar Russian expat sufferings: The natives are lazy, the roads are bad, the climate terrible and the food horrible. You hate it when you are there but when you go away you are soon bored and start to miss it all.

It's a "poison which gets into your blood," they croak like a melodramatic old Moscow expat.

The Russian Africans warn that everything is not so black and white when it comes to zebras, especially as their stripes are actually light brown and black. Forget about Kornei Chukovsky, they write, referring to one of Russia's most beloved children's writer who wrote of a black-and-white zebra, although probably not one which was shot and then skinned to be turned into a wall carpet. He was never in Africa, they write.

Skins, brown and white ones, cost from $1900 to $2900. You can also buy the skin as a bed cover, a padded stool or have it sewn into your skin so you can be zebraman -- you should probably verify this last option.

A typical zebra skin weighs 5 kilograms and delivery is free if you choose the 3 month shipping or $100 by post.

Despite their bravado, the Russian Africans are very firm about the fact that all the skins have the right certificates, that they are culling, not hunting, and that people asking to shoot leopards -- an endangered species -- or other silly hunting requests, such as for a lion skull to be sent by DHL to Moscow, will be swiftly refused.

"Sometimes we think, 'Is it worth shooting an impala [African antelope] or is it more enjoyable to have some avocado with fish conserves for dinner?'" they enigmatically finish.

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