A Russian charity group is learning how costly a typo can be, after it paid 375,000 rubles ($6,000) for pamphlets that were meant to read “Do good!” but instead say “Exterminate beavers!” thanks to a printing error, according to the Lenta.ru website.
Thanks to subtleties of the Russian language, a typographical error left the “Mercy Capital” charitable foundation with 1 million leaflets encouraging genocide against beavers.
According to Ivan Makarov, a representative for the foundation (and an animal rights activist, to boot), the printing house hired to produce the pamphlets is refusing to take responsibility for the printing error, citing regulations dating back to the Soviet era that small typos don’t qualify as contract violations. The printing house also claims “no one will notice” the typo, and told Mercy Capital to go ahead with distributing the leaflets.
“As an animal rights activist,” Makarov told reporters, “I fear that people might really start exterminating beavers, if the foundation starts handing out leaflets like these, the way they are now.”
Mercy Capital is reportedly planning to file a lawsuit against the printers it says are responsible for the unuseable pamphlets.