22 December 2009


22 December 2009

The Czech Republic has just sent four of the eight last surviving Northern White Rhinos back to a preserve in Kenya in a desperate attempt to have them breed and stave off extinction. They have not bred in captivity.

Why do we care?

These animals are part of the beauty and diversity of life, the heritage that we have inherited and are responsible to maintain. Saving large animals means saving habitat, which happens to be the same natural system that cleans our air and water. Of course, at eight, and a split population, with the four in question showing a disinterest in reproducing, the animal is functionally extinct anyway. The Mexican Wolf was saved from seven, but there was a concerted effort to rebuild the population led by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Now we have almost 400.

The National Geographic article mentions two animals in the USA, living in captivity at the San Diego Zoo.

Like the cases of expropriation of antiquities by the developed world, the removal of animals to zoos is a form of theft, and they should be returned.

My head keeps returning to the question of why we should care about the disappearance of another funny looking animal from the planet. What difference does it make to the average soccer mom driving an SUV.

I guess none….

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