Once upon a time there was a cetacean institute at SeaWorld. It had dolphins, whales, orcas, etc. They were world famous for their water show, but the orcas and dolphins aged quickly in captivity. So they hired a genome scientist whose specialty was mammalian aging to see if he could prolong the lives of the animals born at the institute.
The geneticist researched for years and years and made and amazing discovery. "A transgenic mutant line can be created that will be virtually ageless," he promised.
"That's amazing!" exclaimed the owners of the theme park. "What animal's genes will you splice with our cetaceans'? Human? Land mammals?"
"Oddly enough, a species of exotic bird called a mynah," he replies. "But I'll need several dozen for this, and only one particular species will do."
So they go to East Asia to capture enough specimens for the geneticist. They find the rare birds in a nature reserve. The species they need is highly endangered, and only a few hundred survive in the wild. As they are trying to get the birds, the get driven off by a pride of lions. They try to figure out a way to get past the lions without killing them. Finally they come up with an idea: they set a drugged water buffalo free and let the lions pull it down. The lions eat and eat and lie down to sleep.
"Success at last!" cry the bird poachers, and rush in, but the game warden of the park has been watching this and arrests them.
The charge: transporting mynahs across sedated lions for immortal porpoises.
I first heard a variant of this from Misha Voloshin in 1998. I think the porpoises were just sick in that one; the transgenic part is my recent embellishment.
Running like Angband,