Tuesday, September 23, 2009
BBC wildlife expert Chris Packham thinks he’s God. He questions the millions spent trying to save the giant panda from extinction and suggested that the bamboo-eating bear should be allowed to die out “with a degree of dignity”.
The zoologist, in an interview with the Radio Times went on to describes the giant panda as a “T-shirt animal” on which too much conservation money is wasted.
“Here is a species that, of its own accord, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac. It’s not a strong species,” he said.
“I reckon we should pull the plug. Let them go, with a degree of dignity.”
Packham’s remarks are disturbing — not because he’s correct but because he’s a zoologist and the natural assumption is, a zoologist is more learned on the subject of species preservation. While there is no question the giant panda is now a conservation reliant, endangered species, due to farming, forest clearing and human development, all of which threaten the animal’s habitat and diet (99% of their diet is bamboo), it isn’t up to Mr. Packham to decide which species is allowed to live or die.
It’s estimated there are fewer than 47,000 lions and 2,000 tigers now living in the wild. Does Chris Packham advocate the world’s big cats also be allowed to die out “with a degree of dignity”? Once a species disappears from the earth it is gone for good. Being a zoologist doesn’t make you God. Even if Chris Packham thinks otherwise.