Defenders of Wildlife

One on One with Wildlife

One on One with Wildlife
One on One with Wildlife

Working with two representatives of wildlife species intensified my commitment to wildlife preservation.

Through an organization called Earthwatch, it is possible to work with wildlife by assisting a scientist in the study of a given species. In my case, I worked in Minnesota with black bears, following their daily movements via radio-telemetry in order to find out what type of forest vegetation satisfies their dietary needs. The second study used the same tools in order to track wolves, also in Minnesota, to learn about group activity and interaction.

My work in the first of the two projects was immeasurably and unforgettably enhanced by interaction with a young bear who had unfortunately been imprinted and was much too friendly with people. I became something of a guardian angel for her, keeping her from getting into trouble. During the second project, while sitting in a van at dawn I watched as a large black wolf emerged quietly from the woods and then stood there, watching us in return, as the sky lightened and the day began.

These two animals - the young bear and the adult wolf - are emblems of the majesty of our wilderness, just two of the reasons why I support the work of Defenders of Wildlife and why I think all Americans should speak out against such unwise decisions as weakening the Endangered Species Act or opening up forest roads. From those two studies, I took away memories that have continued to inspire my dedication to the preservation of wildlife. We are stewards - or should be - of our animals and we should never fail to protect in every possible way the astounding variety of wild species with which our country is blessed.

 

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