Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wildlife is King on the Island of Sanibel

In an older post,
I wrote about the environment being the school room on Sanibel.

In retrospect, I missed the mark.

The recent and tragic death of a trainer at Sea World made me re-think and re-visit that blog post.

As I wrote in that post, it is true that it is more interesting and more exciting to "study" wild life in the wild. This is easily done on Sanibel through such organizations as the
Sanibel Sea School, the Center for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (C.R.O.W.) and the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation. All of these organizations support Sanibel's wild life without trapping and imprisoning any of it. Their goals are to preserve and protect, and in doing so they hold the wild life close and then let it go. Education is important, but not at the expense of taking wild life out of the wild.

Similarly, in another post I created a little more recently, I spoke about how the residents on Sanibel are so hesitant to report on predator animals like alligators as they don't want to see alligators destroyed. Their feeling was, and to a large extent, is that the alligators were there first and the humans should find a way to live in peace with them.

Contrast these philosophies with the theme parks, circuses, and other so-called entertainment venues where animals are kept in un-natural conditions, some times abused and always denied their instincts to be in the wild. Many of these industries claim that this is the way to learn about wild animal behavior, but is it really? Do we need to entrap dolphins and whales to learn how intelligent they are? Or is all of this "education" just a thinly disguised quest for money using these wild animals as currency for get-rich schemes?

The recent tragedy at Sea World certainly points to the inhumane conditions of the confined whale who just did what he does naturally and ended up taking a human life, tragically, needlessly.

I hope that Sanibel's "live and let live" philosophy might be a good model for a world view on wild life. Let it live free. Let it live in the wild where it belongs. There is no good reason not to do so.

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