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Friday, December 5, 2008

Sheryl's worried...

One of our favourite adoptive parents, Sheryl, said about the post 'happy thanksgiving':

This is where my animal rights ethics and wildlife conservation interests do not mesh. I believe every individual is important, and that sacrificing some for the good of the species is wrong. Personally, I’d prefer a well-armed patrol to protect the bonobos who are going to be released. This plan makes me queasy.

I understand how you feel, sheryl, and believe me, it is going to be tough to see any of the bonobos die, and some of them will. But we have to find a way to successfully release bonobos. we can't wait until they are all almost dead before we figure out a way that works.

I also used to think armed protection was best, but how do you protect an area that's 20,000 hectares? You'd need thousands of men and even they couldn't do it. How do you stop them using their guns to shoot other animals? Congo is crawling with armed men, and none of them have any qualms about using guns to extort the local population. And once you bring guns into it, you risk killing people, and this leads to village wars.

The people who know the land are the Po. The people who have the most to win from the bonobos surviving, are the Po. If you bring guns into it, then people will die, and in a country so rife with violence, let's try the peaceful way first.