On the edge of common sense: Wolf in danger but not endangered
By Baxter Black
[FONT=Optima, Arial, Helvetica]Column[/FONT]
[FONT=Optima, Arial, Helvetica]Publication Date: 04/19/08[/FONT]
A cheer was heard from animals throughout the land: "The wolf is dead! The wolf is dead!"
"In truth," said Elk, "the wolves are not dead. They are just no longer invincible."
"Thank goodness," said Whitetail Doe. "The violence the gang of wolves inflicts on us all will no longer go unanswered. We've all had children, friends or relatives killed or savaged by those cowardly, sneaking hypersteroid weasels."
"You've got to admit," said Mule Deer, "as long as those wildlife-challenged cows are plopping out fat little bite-size calves, it takes the pressure off of us all."
"Yes, but have you seen what happened to us in the Park?" said Elk. "No cows are allowed. They left us to the killers' mercy! They even fed us in the winter so we'd be fat and easy to find!"
"Poor cloven-hoofed fools," whispered Magpie to Eagle, "Don't they know that even if the law allows them hairy-legged snakes to be shot, they ain't gonna allow no hunters in the Park anyway? The wolf-lovers have created their own Jurassic Park!"
"I, for one, am thrilled with the decision to take the wolves off the endangered predators list," said the Sheep minority spokesman, "At least our ranch security forces will be able to reduce the slaughter of our lambs on private land. Granted, it won't stop all the bloody raids.
"According to their computer projections using Los Angeles and New York inner cities as models, humans are willing to tolerate a certain amount of gang-related attacks. They depend on the "School of Fish" theory. They are willing to sacrifice a few of their numbers for the safety of many."
"Yup," said Elk. "That was their logic when they introduced the wolf gangs back into areas where they had been eradicated. They looked at a handful of ranches in the West, knowing that there would be a ready supply of calves and lambs, and that's exactly where they turned 'em loose. Ranchers can be sacrificed, they figgered. After all, no one ever sees them."
"Right," said Coyote, laughing, "But you can bet they won't be repopulating wolf gangs into Minneapolis suburbs or the grounds of the Sierra Club headquarters, no sir! It's OK if they eat a few ranch dogs, but not their little suburban kittens and puppies."
Whitetail Doe spoke up, "Let's not get snippy. We, who are the primary victims in the gangs' food chain - yes, even including the dull bovine - can give thanks that those who value our lives can now retaliate. But be wary, there are still humans out there with money and lawsuits, who want the canine vultures to be protected to run free - unless, of course, it is in their own backyard.
"Yer right." said Elk. "But for now, three cheers for the varmint hunters. Three, two, one ... Fire!" Baxter Black is a veterinarian and cowboy poet. His column appears weekly.