Photo in public domain (ex. Wikimedia Commons).
Photo by Sandip Kumar (ex. Wikimedia Commons).
Photo by Jeff Keeton (ex. Wikimedia Commons).
Nothing about writing today. And I was going to say "nothing about crime" either, but this piece concerns a different sort of crime.
Today is National Threatened Species Day.
This is a subject which does always makes me pause in reflection and always makes my blood boil. As a side note, for many years as a teenager I dreamt of being a zoologist, but it never happened. I did read a lot, though, and I know my animals and have always had a soft spot for them.
I find it so hard to understand how we can drive fellow species to extinction, almost invariably through our greed and insensitivity.
The first photo at left is of "Benjamin", the last Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) in Hobart Zoo.
The last of his species.
He died on this day in 1936, hence our National Day (September 7th).
They say animals can't think like we do, and I agree perhaps not in the same way, but something in me says that Benjamin knew he was the last of his kind. What would that feel like? If we were taken over by a superior alien race, and you or I were the last homo sapiens in the zoo, how would we feel?
We had another story this week about pangolins (see second photo). Apparently they are now the most endangered mammal in the world, thanks to being hunted and poached for the medicinal properties of various body parts! Really? Are we, as the supposedly vastly superior species on the planet, still so primitive and backward? Sadly, we are. Tigers' penises spring to mind as well.
And the third photo at left is of "Nola", an ageing Northern White Rhinoceros who was put down late last year in a San Diego zoo. Nola was the fourth last member of her species on this planet. The other three survivors are also ageing, in Kenya, and beyond breeding age.
So, that will be it...no more Northern White Rhinos.
And, as with all such examples, the planet, our planet, the planet we should be advanced enough to look after, will be all the poorer for it.
And we, as a supposedly intelligent species, will again grotesquely display our barbarity.