Partly at a couple of suggestions from coach Gar and partly thanks to my obsession with wolves, I have been on an animal book binge. I’ve read Roger Fout’s Next of Kin and Ian McAllister’s Following the Last Wild Wolves in the last couple of weeks, and am now in the middle of Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer.
These books capture my heart and imagination, making my throat feel tight and my eyes leaky. I have always had a general sense of the shrinking wilderness, and felt a strong draw to get out there and explore it, experiencing the breathtaking beauty and overwhelming natural flow of life before we lose the opportunity. Until right now I hadn’t realized that perhaps the opportunity has already passed.
Not only are the wild spaces on this earth dwindling and being ever pervaded for human’s latest whims, but at this point it seems that the only way to preserve what is left is to educate people and support major players fighting the fight…and to stay far, far away from the delicate ecosystems in question. Sure, people are natural creatures (in general?) and have harmoniously occupied the natural world for millennia, but learning about animals who end up dead because they’ve stopped avoiding people after being exposed to trustworthy humans is heartbreaking.
Maybe I’m not familiar with all the facts, and maybe these places could indeed benefit from direct, caring human contact. But it feels very self-centred to even consider fulfilling my lowly desire to stand in proximity with a wild wolf pack, or see the salmon run firsthand, when it seems the impact on the animals and ecosystems will be neutral at best.
Can you believe there are as few as 3,2oo tigers remaining in the wild?? Can you imagine the day where kids grow up hearing of a mythical orange striped swimming giant cat that once roamed the earth??? I have a strong feeling that we’re in way over our heads.
It’s a good thing that feeling down is a great impetus for change….
What can we do? Not sure yet. But I’m going to check out World Wildlife Fund for starters.