What connects Whisky the hamster, Rusty the border terrier and Cecil the lion? Answer: Andy Murray. After his victory over Adrian Mannarino here at the US Open the Scot talked about his love of animals – and why he wears his heart on his sleeve.
A sponsor’s logo on the shirt of a player like the world No 3 can be worth a small fortune, but Murray does not receive any payment for the World Wildlife Fund logo which he is wearing here.
Murray, who is a global ambassador for the WWF, said: “I care as much about animals as I do about human beings. Some people find that funny. I don’t find it funny. I just think that we’re all on this planet together and it’s horrible when you see what happens to some animals that are almost extinct.
“There was that story about Cecil the lion a few weeks ago. It’s horrible. Anything you can do to help. They don’t have a voice. Human beings do. It’s nice to try to help with that.”
Murray and his wife, Kim, have two dogs, called Rusty and Maggie May, but his love of animals goes back much further than that.
“I always grew up with animals,” he said. “My family always had dogs. Growing up, I had a couple of hamsters when I was a kid. The first one that I had was called Whisky. I lost him down the back of a sink. You know how in a house you would have just a sink in a bedroom? I wrapped a duvet round the back of the sink to stop the hamster from getting in there. I don’t know how it managed to get under the duvet. I used to just let it out and run around. It got behind the sink and went under the floorboards. I left a mousetrap – not one that would kill but one that would catch it if it came out of the floorboards.
“I woke up the next morning and the bit of cheese was gone, but the mousetrap hadn’t worked. It had obviously got up there and got the food. And that was that.”
So what is it about animals that so appeals to Murray? “The thing with animals is you have to kind of accept things. I love my dogs. You can teach them to behave, but if they decide by themselves that they’re going to be naughty, you just have to accept that. Whereas with people, it’s a lot easier to discipline them and tell them the difference between right and wrong.”
With his wife due to give birth to their first child in a few months’ time, might Murray have changed his views on disciplining people two or three years from now?
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