Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch - the founder and chairman of News Corporation (NWS) - is reducing the amount of panda blood he has injected into his heart each day, The Daily Currant can reveal.
The Australian-born 81 year old has consumed raw vials of baby panda blood each day for the past ten years in an effort to stave off death and avoid a messy secession fight among his family for control of his media empire.
There is no scientific evidence that the treatment works, and it entails capturing and eventually killing scores of baby great pandas - one of the most notable endangered species in the world.
Known also for its stress-relieving properties, Murdoch had been taking up to ten vials a day during the height of News Corporation"s phone-hacking scandal - which threatened the viability of his small but beloved British newspaper business.
Now that the scandal has calmed, Murdoch has been able to cut down, easing the strain on the 20-strong farm of pandas he keeps at his Manhattan apartment and allowing Murdoch to turn his focus to Fox News, Sky Broadcasting, 20th Century Fox, The Wall Street Journal, and his numerous other media properties.
Sources say that he was introduced to the treatment by his 43-year old wife Wendy Murdoch ( née 邓文迪), who insisted on the regimen as a way of prolonging the inevitable moment when he dies and gives her billions of dollars for pretending to be in love with him.
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The revelation is expected to entice outrage among animal rights groups, who claim that holding the rare pandas in captivity to draw their blood for an unproven longevity treatment violates several U.S., British, and Chinese laws as well as numerous international treaties.
Analysts question whether Murdoch will be prosecuted, however, because of his status as a political kingmaker on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific.
"I wouldn't want to be the prosecutor who goes after him on this," says David Lingwire , a professor of animal rights law at Columbia Law School in New York, " I'm pretty sure my phones are tapped, and all I did was blog about this case two days ago."
No lawmaker would go on record about a potential prosecution. The rumor in Washington, however, is that News Corp's lobbying firm is busy at work trying to change U.S. law to allow the practice.
Says one lobbyist:
"It's the decent thing to do. No one deserves it more than him."