Vinay Menon: When animals target celebs: Shakira gets mugged by wild boars after surviving a sea lion attack

Shakira is lucky it was just her bag that was mauled.

The pop star with the bionic hips stopped shimmying this week to chase down two brazen robbers. Shakira was with her eight-year-old son, Milan, in a park in Barcelona when the attempted mugging went down in broad daylight.

“They were taking my bag to the woods with my mobile phone in it,” she told Instagram fans. “They’ve destroyed everything.”

Since her phone was in her bag, there is no footage of the suspects, who remain at large. But I’m picturing Shakira screaming in Spanish and in hot pursuit of the thieves in her bedazzled sneakers. Not sure if she worked with a police sketch artist. But if she provided a description, cops are currently on the lookout for two Porky Pigs.

Or as CNN reported: “Shakira Says She Was Attacked By Purse-Snatching Boars.”

While most celebrities have bodyguards, Shakira might consider hiring a zookeeper. Incredibly, this bungled swine heist was not her first brush with criminal wildlife.

In 2012, the singer shocked fans with a Facebook post.

“Omg what just happened to me!” she wrote. “I was attacked by a sea lion!”

While vacationing in Cape Town, she noticed tourists taking pictures of sea lions and seals. But Shakira “decided to get a bit closer than all of the other tourists,” and “went down to a rock trying to pet them doing a baby talk while taking pictures.”

Now, I’m no Jack Hanna. But I’m pretty sure wild animals can’t be lulled into a docile and photogenic state by a human with electrocuted hair and risqué beachwear who is tiptoeing closer and cooing gaga-goo-goos while snapping selfies and trying to pat their heads. Wild animals don’t like that stuff.

Can you imagine if Shakira went on a safari that day? The panicked driver would be screaming for her to get back into the Jeep as she gyrated toward a startled lion, hoping to rub its belly while belting out, “Can’t Remember to Forget You.”

As Shakira wrote of her mishap with the sea lions: “Suddenly, one of them jumped out of the water so fast and impetuously that it got about one foot away from me, looked me in the eye, roared in fury and tried to bite me.”

Then she consulted her inner marine biologist for a plausible explanation: “I believe what happened is that it confused the shiny reflection of the blackberry I was taking these pics with, with some sort of fish.”

Maybe. Or maybe you should avoid wild animals?

Granted, this is becoming more difficult. One subplot of the pandemic, especially during lockdown, was how urban ecosystems shifted as the beasts moved in. Last year, the BBC published a gallery — “Coronavirus: Wild Animals Enjoy Freedom of a Quieter World” — that showed dolphins in Istanbul and pink flamingos in Albania and cougars in Chile. I’m willing to bet good money you’ve seen more animals than usual over the last 18 months, no matter where you live.

I had to suspend Operation Bird Feeder — it will resume in the winter — after our backyard turned into “Wild Kingdom.” Skunks, foxes, rats, clueless pigeons bigger than Dalmatians, they were all crashing my bird seed party for the spillover.

I was barbecuing one night and, in my peripheral vision, I noticed a movement. I turned my head to the right and the weirdest creature I have ever seen was approaching. It had ink-black eyes, a triangular human head, demonic ears and was the size of a stretch rabbit on steroids. It would take several rapid steps and then stop. Several steps and stop, getting closer, not at all scared of a human with tongs.

Terrified, I ran into the house and gave an eyewitness description to my personal sketch artist, my wife. She seemed more concerned the sirloins were now unattended under a closed lid. Woman, screw your medium-rare fussiness! There is either an extraterrestrial or furry servant of Satan in our backyard and you’re getting well done times a billion because I’m not going back out there until sunrise.

Eventually, I had no choice. The kids were rubbing their bellies and saying they were starving. In addition to the tongs, I now also had a hockey stick and machete. My wife said I was overreacting and what I had seen was probably an opossum.

But what if Shakira had been our dinner guest that night? That opossum would have pistol-whipped me, gobbled the steaks and crashed through the patio doors to steal her purse and phone. Don’t you see? Shakira is creating very bad voodoo with our aquatic and four-legged friends. For whatever reason, they hate her guts.

She’s gonna get us all eaten by alligators.

Yes, other celebrities have had run-ins with wild animals. Gordon Ramsay was once attacked by a puffin. Niall Horan required knee surgery after running for his life from an irate squirrel. White swans target Betty White. Fabio has PTSD over a goose.

But Shakira is the only celebrity to now be attacked by a sea lion and be the target of a porcine gang. I give it six months until a zebra steals her identity. Or she’s carjacked by a chimp. Or her home is looted by marauding rhinos in search of her iPad.

Wild animals are emboldened during this pandemic, Shakira.

That’s why you need to stay locked down. They are looking for you.

TORONTO STAR