Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening

Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/wildlife-gardeners.php)
-   Threatened & Endangered Species (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/threatened-endangered-species/)
-   -   Who Would Kill a Monk Seal? (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/threatened-endangered-species/11688-who-would-kill-monk-seal.html)

Staff 05-23-2013 04:00 PM

Who Would Kill a Monk Seal?
Who Would Kill a Monk Seal?
Published: May 8, 2013

excerpt from above:

The Hawaiian monk seal has wiry whiskers and the deep, round eyes of an apologetic child. The animals will eat a variety of fish and shellfish, or turn over rocks for eel and octopus, then haul out on the beach and lie there most of the day, digesting. On the south side of Kauai one afternoon, I saw one sneeze in its sleep: its convex body shuddered, then spilled again over the sand the way a raw, boneless chicken breast will settle on a cutting board. The seals can grow to seven feet long and weigh 450 pounds. They are adorable, but also a little gross: the Zach Galifianakises of marine mammals.

Monk seals are easy targets. After the Polynesians landed in Hawaii, about 1,500 years ago, the animals mostly vanished, slaughtered for meat or oil or scared off by the settlers’ dogs. But...

Gloria 05-24-2013 02:46 PM

The writer knows how to play a story. So many sides in any controversy and it is always hard to get at the truth or even fiqure out if there is a single truth. We see all through our own experiences and perspective,then jump to the conclusions we are ready to believe.


Sometimes, these incidents are just “thrill kills” — fits of ugliness without logic or meaning. But often they read as retaliation, a disturbing corollary to how successful the conservation of those animals has been.

“Uncle Walt is a well-respected man,” the Kid now said. Ritte’s appearance on his doorstep that day was itself a rebuke. So the Kid kept listening as Ritte explained that monk seals had actually lived in Hawaii long before Hawaiians did, and that Hawaiians — a people who know displacement and disregard — should feel kinship with the animals, rather than resentment. The seal was here first, and we have no right to push it out, Ritte told him. This hit the Kid hard; he still sounded crushed under the weight of this truth: “I actually killed another Hawaiian,” he told me

Looking back, I was astonished by how the pieces just kept snapping together,
and stubbornly locking in place, in exactly the worst way: how, at the public hearings,
the government’s attempts to show respect and empathy were read as just more imperiousness;

In Hawaii, so many circumstances had knotted together to snare this species. In a way, they snared the Kid too. But he wouldn’t allow himself to see it that way. At one point, he mentioned again that he only wanted to scare the monk seal away, not kill it, and I tried to say something sympathetic, lamenting his bad luck. He was quick to correct me: “Mostly, bad decision,” he said. “Stupid decision. You got to accept what you did.”

bridget1964 05-25-2013 09:56 AM

Monk seals are endangered. People have killed them for whatever reasons. They shouldn't be killing an endangered species. I don't understand what you mean that the writer knows how to 'play' the story. I am confused.

Gloria 05-25-2013 12:08 PM

He effectively takes you through the story in a way that makes you think about all those involved. Of course it was wrong to kill the seal. But it is also good for us as the sometimes hated eco minded, to realize how some people react when trying to force compliance. Understanding is a step further than just knowing.

bridget1964 05-26-2013 07:25 AM

Now I understand what you meant, Gloria. I thought the article was very well written. I still don't understand how these native peoples who so love their islands and the animals on the islands would kill for the sake of killing.

I am involved in several rescue groups here in NJ. When a seal hauls out on the beach, I often get called to 'babysit' the seal. The reason is people don't understand that the seal is simply resting or sunbathing. I get frustrated that we have a need for this babysitting, but the average American knows very little about wildlife. If they see a seal on the beach, they automatically assume there is something wrong with it. Then they get curious, get too close and let their dogs get too close to the seal. Then the seal gets aggitated and the dogs often bite the seal!

The native Hawaiians understand nature and the monk seals. They need to realize that the tourists or haoles don't understand the monk seals, therefore the seals need to be protected.

I guess it all goes back to how the US took Hawai'i from the natives. The times I've visited there, they appreciate the tourists, but there definitely is a lot of animosity towards us, too.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:47 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2