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.

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).