Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

May 16, 2014

A Day of Animal Mourning

A Florida Panther, Everglades National Park
2005 National Park Service Photo by Rodney Cammauf

While watching Sam Champion on the Weather Channel this morning, I was painfully reminded,  that today is  “Endangered Species Day.”
Today is shamefully called National,  or is it Global Endangered Species Day?
This day was apparently created nearly a decade ago, by the US Fish and Wildlife, these would be the kinsfolk of those who recently euthanized  seven Black Bears here in Central Florida for being  ” not afraid of humans. “
This declaration of a special day like this, is disturbing on so many levels to me personally.
It is not like Halloween, or  Thanksgiving,  with hype and hyperbole for a brief 24 hours.
No, this is not something that should have a  ” DAY. “
Those unfortunate animals on our planet that now suffer on the brink of being gone forever,  do not need a national or global day, they need a year, a lifetime,  an eon of attention to their desperate plight.
Without drastic change, or a complete reversal in Global thinking, these creatures are surely doomed to become extinct and quite soon.
There will be no links, or list of  “places to learn more”  today for this posting,  as none are required.
Every single one of us knows what is happening to animals everywhere, we have been told and warned about it for decades, we do not need to go read a Blog,  a Newspaper,  or even a Book.
We already know!
We Humans are more than likely, 99% of the cause of their decline, impending deaths and elimination from the Earth.
We remain steadfastly,  selfish, greedy and ignorant.
Animals were not put on Earth for us to torture, abuse or murder.
They were put here, I believe, to be our companions, our  …………….,  you fill in the blank.
And we are responsible for assuring that they are allowed to live, survive, gasp,  even thrive for as long as we are here.
Not sure of the total accuracy of this, but do believe that our Florida Panther is the number one, most Endangered Mammal or Animal  in America.
Sadly, last week on our way up to Gainesville to see Breanna’s Vet at  UF , we drove past what was my second sighting of one, both times they were lying on the side of the road,  the apparent victim of a deadly vehicular accident.
Is it any wonder that their numbers are now at less than 100?
This magnificent animal, that at one time roamed not only all of Florida, but much of the Southeast, now finds itself  relegated to a tiny area, not fit for a house cat, let alone a big cat,  that requires a  25 square mile  range to support them.
We have, in this state, run our Panther, “our state mammal,”  out of every single place that it used to call home.
The words Ancestral Habitat and the  Florida Panther  are a joke, an oxymoron.
They no longer know,   where they came from,  or where they belong any more.
They are left, with what we greedy Humans have begrudgingly given them to survive on, and it is not even close to what they need, no MUST have to survive.
Why have we taken away all of their land, you ask?
To build another Strip or Shopping Mall, another Beachfront Condo, or to drill for more oil, gas, or other.
It is all Pure Greed.
Florida has enough houses, condos, malls and fossil fuels to last until the next millennium.
Our refusal to care for the well-being of our planets most critically Endangered Animals has put them,  to quote the great Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, at the  ” end of the log. ” 
Every generation comes with one who tries, nearly always in vain,  to show us the error of our callous ways, in our treatment of our fellow animals,  my most recent favorite is of course, Gandhi.
His thinking, his comments,  on the subject of caring for animals are legendary.
Any man of his stature who would leave a gathering of dignitaries sitting, while he left to tend to his  goats is my Hero.
Gandhi had his priorities straight.
Can the rest of us at least try to do the same?
Personally, I will not celebrate in any way on this day of Endangered Species.
No banner or sign waving, no protest marching, no screaming out for the world to celebrate this day.
Instead, I  choose on this day,  to reflect on what I have failed to achieve in the year that this Blog has existed.
Like the millions of Native People in America, who call Thanksgiving,  ” a day of mourning,”   I choose to call this,
a day of mourning for the animals who will likely not survive until it comes again next year.

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