Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Eulogy for Macho B

(AP)

We're heartbroken to see this upturned paw in a human hand after so many miles spent scanning the ground for the negative space it left in the soft soils of southern Arizona. His prints were like prayer flags, whispering wildness back into our world.

We opposed the collaring because it both risked his life and represented the need to control that wildness. We need data, we need information, we need to "understand,".... but what about respect? What about simply bearing witness to a force that survives, endures, inhabits, and inspires? Couldn't we just let him be? Why did the need for specifics trump the need for wildness? We knew enough about this jaguar, except how much stress his kidneys could handle.

When will the need to control Nature stop?

We've answered that question for Macho B, but let's hope for a different answer the next time we're blessed with a jaguar in our borderlands.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

How much more awe inspiring it would be to find the imprint of such a paw in the bottom of a sandy wash than to see a photo like this one.

I used to track with the Sky Island Alliance's wildlife monitoring program. Just finding a puma track made the heart beat a little faster. One can only imagine how it would feel to walk the path where a jaguar had gone before.

Thanks for this touching post.

Mike said...

This is incredibly sad news, even more so after seeing that majestic looking paw.

Really a shame that the age of this animal and stress factors were not properly put into the equation.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm sorry, but you've dragged the term bunny-hugger to an all-time new low. The scientific literacy of your statements, and the anthropromorphism reflected in your statements indicate that you don't really understand a thing about wildlife biology and management or conservation biology at all, nor do you understand the morals, ethics, or intentions of professionals engaged in these professions. I encourage respect, admiration, and support for wildlife and habitats, but when they become something more than they are (mythic creatures, pseudo-deities, friends or cherished loved ones) you've lost your nut and fallen into some fantasy-land that the rest of us just do not understand.

Demarcated Landscapes said...

Anonymous,

We think you might the one who doesn't get it- "it" being a philosophical understanding of our role in nature. You may not have heard of "Deep Ecology," but we encourage you to check it out.

There is not one point in the post above that suggests anthropomorphism (the attribution of human characteristics to non-human beings) and we never assigned Macho B god-like status. Rather, we questioned the god-like role that humans keep assuming when it comes to wildlife management.

Yes, we've lost our nut... to the extent that our society has lost its nut. Our disassociation from the world around us is the problem, not the solution that you've proposed.

Ron Kearns said...

Arizona Jaguar News Conference Video

The video is 42 minutes.

http://www.azgfd.gov/video/ArizonaJaguarPressConference.shtml