Sunday, April 10, 2011

Let the Wolves Out!




Nobody's Opinion: Last week I went to Missouri's wolf sanctuary, and found out that gray wolves are an endangered species. In fact, it doesn't seem that the wolf is doing very well in the world at all, which is a shame because they are such beautiful animals. There has never been a wolf attack on a human ever recorded in the United States. Coyotes killed 22 times more cattle than wolves do.


Here in Missouri, there are no wolves. We have "foxes." Cute-- but I wish we had more wolves. The "government" is not going to introduce them back into the wild. They are genetically monitored and strictly controlled, every single pup is accounted for---god forbid a wolf have too many.


So, are they doing this for OUR benefit?


I doubt it. BECAUSE...ladies and gents...we have WILD PIGS! And they're not controlling them too well at all. What's up with that? Compared to a pig, the wolves are angels They might kill a cow here or there, but pigs...just ask any Texas rancher. They can devour whole fields or sorghum, rice, wheat, soybeans, potatoes, melons, nuts, grass and hay. Corn is a favorite. And disease...they bring that too.


Texas and Florida have the most...but they are spreading, even to my state of Missouri. And as you can see by the picture, not all those pigs are little. Texas alone killed 24, 648 wild pigs in 2009.


So, how did this happen? Pigs are not native to America. Christopher Columbus brought them to the Caribbean, and Hernando DeSoto brought them to Florida, and some rich and bored hunters some time ago, brought some Eurasian boars over for hunting, and THEY managed to mate with the local feral pigs....which brings me to my story.


When I was a kid, of about nine, I went on a wild boar hunt in the Everglades. Yes, there I was, little Miss Daniel Crockett...riding in the back of a swamp buggy (a swamp buggy is just a big jeep with airplane tires...sort of the first BIG FOOT)..Like I said, there I was, on a Friday night, with about seventeen other girls, all older than me. I was the youngest girl there, and there were actually three swamp buggies carrying these fine young women out into the Everglades...that night...to go...wild boar hunting.


I have NEVER figured out why two men would take seventeen young women out to hunt boars..and I don't want to know. It's not like they gave the girls guns, or taught them to hunt. No...they took them along just for the fun of it!


I was not at the age yet--- where screaming and giggling every two seconds had evolved into my brain, being a few years shy of puberty, so you can imagine I was more amazed at the girls, than the dark and scary ride out to a tiny little hut. Whatever danger lurked in the dark was miles away from the noise made by seventeen giggling girls.


When we got to our "quarters" it was one small hut, with ten bunkers, one fridge, one pot bellied stove...and an outhouse. I slept on the floor.


Don't forget the outhouse. There was a spider that was on the top left corner of the inside that was as big as a hubcap. I kid you not. We went to the bathroom in pairs.


I talked to it. "Don't you EVEN think about it!"


There were three adults on this trip...and they had all been evidently, expert hog hunters--- in the Philippines. None of them spoke English very well, but the small petite woman, who was going to hunt the boar, could tell, I was told, the most fabulous raunchy dirty jokes.---good thing I knew nothing about sex, because this lady did NOT shut up. To this day, I have not heard a comedian match her memory of jokes anywhere. I always knew when they ended because she would laugh really loud at herself. And then she start up again.


When it came time to hunt the boars, we all got in the swamp buggies, and it took us quite a while before we found one. And it had tusks, and screamed furiously, ..and put up a big fight. Time and again it attacked the buggy, and was just about the ugliest thing I had ever seen. Was I scared? Okay, a little. But the guys had guns, so...I was more amazed.


The NEXT day...that was the scary day. The men went back out to hunt some more "boar" and the little comedian decided to take us all out for a nice walk in the midday swampy sun, all seventeen of us. I was near the front, and after about an hour...the girl in the lead, screamed as loud as she could, and ran right past me. The NEXT girl in front of her...again...screamed---"'SNAKE!!!" and ran passed me.


So, there I was. In front telling them to knock it off. Cowards. Then...I saw...palmettos...being flattened against the ground. Dozens of them. (picture a big bush being flattened...same thing.) and as I looked down, about twelve feet in front of me was the biggest snake I had ever seen, and I had seen many for my age. The body...sleuthing slowly...slowly...about the size of a Oak tree trunk..


I froze, fascinated at first, and then, said nothing. It's head was a good deal already pass me...and I got tired of waiting for the other end. I wanted to see it, really I did...the tail I mean. But...it was moving too slow, and the rest of the girls were making too much noise.


I calmly walked back to the other girls who were crying hysterically, and told them it was just a big python.


Chill.


Yes, I was brave that day, and then...puberty hit. Today, I would probably scream...although, quietly.


And now, to my point. Those big pylons are all other the Everglades now, they are NOT natives. They can eat small children. And wild boars...another alien species, can devastate a big portion of your land.


But wolves? Who do they hurt?


And more importantly, why are they letting hogs, wild boars, and pythons multiply while they are keeping wolves (who ARE natives) in some kind of perpetual endangered spices limbo?


I don't know. But in a metaphor...the wolves of America are being overrun by alien species.


I suggest we take make our Congressmen and women go on a wild boar hunt before they enter office. Let them scream for once and take the government out of species control.


It's typical of Congress. isn't it? Control the natives,--but let the aliens run lose. They think of people just the same as they think of animals.


Nobody suggest that we put the worst of them on the political endangered speices list in 2012. Personally, I take a Wolf over a politican any day of the week. Few of them are as noble.

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