Cecil the Lion Thoughts

It saddens me that such a magnificent animal was killed in such a terrible fashion.

Now before anyone flies off the handle, let me clear about some things. In general I support hunters and hunting, but I do so based on some principles hunters in my family have had for generations:

  1. Hunt only what you need. Do not overhunt
  2. You eat what you kill and not let go to waste the rest of the remains.
  3. Respect the animal you hunt. Do not let an animal suffer.
  4. Do not hunt endangered or near endangered animal species.
  5. No trophy hunting.

The final two principles came about in more recent years as a result of endangered species populations and a general disgust for those who hunt solely for trophies. That said, we’ll move…

I know some question the outrage over a lion’s death. Even with my opposition to trophy hunting and the hunting of endangered species in general, I too would question the outrage over killing a lion. What makes this one different for many is  what information we have at this point: Cecil was apparently lured from the preserve, by all accounts made to suffer for 40 hours from a man obviously not skilled enough to track and kill a lion properly, and the fact the hunters then attempted to destroy the collar Cecil war as part of ongoing study.

In my opinion, the group of hunters actions before, during, and after the hunt and subsequent uproar are those of poachers, not legitimate hunters and guides. So I can understand the outrage quite plainly.

My hope is those involved are prosecuted by the Zimbabwean government and that this incident inspires more people to look into ways to end trophy hunting, protect and help repopulate endangered and near endangered species, and in general look for ways to preserve our planet’s wildlife and habitats for the enjoyment of all.

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Aggressive Animal Alert: AZ ZIP 85014 (Longview West Neighborhood)

Normally, I’d simply allow the COP Animal Control and Police to deal with the dog attack at my mother’s property today but given the number of small children and residents with small pets I feel the need to put out this warning for residence in Phoenix ZIP Code 85014, particularly in the Longview Neighborhood and surrounding area in which the below incidents occured.

Aggressive Animal Alert
ZIP: 85014

If the following two dangerous animals and/or their owner are spotted or if one know where they reside, please contact City of Phoenix Animal Control with this information so the community can be better protected.

Animals:

2 Dogs, breeds unknown, mixed

Dog 1: Small, black, possible white markings on chest.

Dog 2: Small, white with tan/brown patches.

Incident(s) of Aggression/Dangerous Animal Behavior:

1. Attempted to attack cat and then charged owner trying to shoo dogs out of backyard. Dogs’ owner encouraged dogs to attack and made no effort to restrain animals when asked to do so. Time: Approx: 8 a.m.

2. Snapped at two people trying to chase the dogs away from kittens the dogs mauled to death. Incident took place in backyard of private resident and was reported to City of Phoenix PD and Animal Control. Time: Approx: 12:30 p.m.

3. Dogs returned to location of second attack, chased off after charging owner. Approx: 2 p.m.

Animal(s) Owner:
Name: Unknown.
Description: Hispanic male, about late 20s to mid 30s, 5’9″ to 5’10”, approx 150-170 lbs, brown eyes, short black hair, clean shaven, last seen wearing ball cap, sleeveless shirt.

Other Information:

Owner allows animals to run around without leashes in violation of the law. Encourages animals to attack.

Known to frequent corner gas station/convenience store near Longview Elementary. Believed to live in area bordered by Fairmount, 12th St, Osborn Rd and 7th St.

Evidence is being compiled for potential criminal and civil charges against dogs’ owner.

Worldwide Animal Die-off

The recent unusal spate of  birds and fish dying in mass numbers around the planet is curious, particularly in discovering the reasons for the deaths. Is it simply media hyping up naturally occurring events or something else entirely? Religious nihilists are of course claiming its the sign of the end of days. But then some of these nihilist groups would have people believe that wearing plaid was a sign of the apocalypse so they’re not exactly thinking reasonably in the first place. Yes, I’m being snarky but I admit I have little tolerance to nihilists in general and none for religious nihilists.

U.S. scientists on the other hand are being less than convincing with their own vague explanations to an increasingly concerned public with inane statements like blunt force trauma being found on birds that fell to the ground. Duh! Slamming into the ground at a high velocity tends to inflict massive blunt force trauma. Personally I’m of the opinion a weather or geo-magnetic event confused or even killed the birds. As for the fish, I suspect the scientist are correct that a sudden cold snap may have got them.

Others have more believable explanations:

  • The dead crabs probably dying to the extremely cold weather in Britain.
  • The Talapia in Vietnam dead due to low oxygen levels in the water in their over crowded pens.
  • The dead penguins and birds on New Zealand due to low fish populations due to weather patterns.
  • The dead bats in Tucson, Arizona likely due to the unusually warm weather.

As an aside I know the weather is unusual this year in Arizona. I’ve recently seen hummingbirds and others in the Valley that should have gone south a couple of months ago, but they’re here due.

I suspect that many of these deaths are naturally occurring due to natural planetary events (weather, solar activity, gravitational shifts in the North Pole, et al.). Some may be tied to manmade events (e.g. chemical spills and poison). Even the USGS indicates there is an average of 163 die-offs a year reported, so the event is all that unusual. Either way, I think people are simply paying more attention to whats going on in the world but lack the perspective or knowledge to understand what is happening which is leading to some confusion and concern for many. But there is no ‘aflockalypse’ as far as I can see, just technology making people more aware of what is going on.

Wolves

Judge Restores Protection for Wolves – AOL News
Good for the wolves. I was rather ticked off about the States back when they started making plans for hunting the wolves especially with their attitude that re-decimating the wolf populations to as low as 500 was somehow good for them despite there only being some 2,000. You need to have the proper ratio of predator-prey in order to restore ecological balance not just concentrate conservation and restoration efforts of prey species. After all, the lack of natural predators, like wolves, due to the interference of man has contributed the growing nuisance of coyotes in Arizona and elsewhere.

Has Barack Obama Accomplished Anything in the Senate » Propeller
If nothing else I get a laugh out of the partisan bickering amongst the commentators while feeling sorry for those jut wanting to keep to the facts. Though who is who is sometimes hard to tell. The general feel I got from the interview was no, Obama hadn’t really accomplished anything. Not that such a thing is negative given he is a junior Senator and therefor unlikely to have much influence in the Senate in the first place. That said I personally don’t htink he’s ready to handle being President but that will be for the American voting public to decide (assuming no voting irregularities arise like in 2000).

Wolves

Gray Wolf Hunts Planned After De-Listing So 1,500 is considered enough for a species to no longer be considered endangered but okay to hunt back into near extinction again as indicated by Idaho’s allowing the killing of 100-300 of the 800 wolves there and the notion of just putting them back under protection if they fall below a certain number. Another brilliant move brought to you by the morons of the federal government and the moronic Fish and Wildlife Service in Idaho. Guess it never occurred to the jackaninnys that their animal diversity has suffered because they screwed up the natural predator-prey mix in the first place. Idiots.

Yes, I get extremely annoyed at things like this, especially after the long and hard efforts undertaken here in Arizona by Preserve Arizona’s Wolves (P.A.W.S.) to return wolves to Arizona. Everyone is all for saving non-predatory species but seem to conveniently forget the predators need to maintain an ecosystem.

Happy New Years 2008

2007 is gone and good riddance. It was a year that wasn’t the greatest for me, with definitely more negative than positive events in my life. I’m hoping 2008 will be better even though it has started inauspiciously for me with my kitten, Tanner, dieing from a virus that’s apparently going around the cat population in the US. I’m grateful my other two cats are healthy though.

So not exactly a great start to the new year.

Well like everyone else, I’m making a few resolutions for the year. Resolutions I know I will keep and not something silly or fanciful like some of my friends declarations:

  1. Blog more frequently. (Here, and my other two blogs.)
  2. Eat more healthily.
  3. Volunteer/Contribute to charity.

There are other things I want to do, but their secondary and really unimportant.

Well, here’s hoping a happy, healthful, peaceful, and prosperous new year to everyone.