The utter asininity of man never ceases to amaze me, or
Now, considering there’s no law against being a complete
idiot, the majority of the time man displays his inevitable buffoonery, it’s
laughable, something to chat about around the ol’ water cooler at work.
But when it winds up leading to the death of another
living thing, it ain’t so funny no more.
Take the case of the innocent elk that was just snuffed
in Asheville, N.C.
Now, this elk, who we’ll call Ed, was a regular in Great
Smokey Mountain National Park. And much like another regular we remember
hanging out in a national park, Yogi Bear, wasn’t shy about chasing down some
munchies every now and again.
As anyone who has ever traipsed through a zoo will tell
you, however, the feeding of the animals by human visitors is a practice that’s
frowned upon (unless you stick a couple of quarters into the nearby gumball
machine and extract some pretty disgusting-looking grub, which presumably is OK
for animal consumption even if it does look like rat crap). I’m sure this park
had posted the proper signs warning of the dangers of stuffing a bacon and
lettuce with mayo on toast into the jaws of a nearby badger. But in typical
human-being fashion, I’m positive such signs were completely ignored.
After all, Mr. and Mrs. Ima Fatass from Cowpie, Utah know
better about what’s consumable for the four-legged and furry than vets, animal
experts and learned folks that study that sort of thing for a living. Besides,
they paid good money for their vacation and nobody, most of all some bozo who
looks like Ranger Smith in Jellystone Park, is going to tell them who they can
and cannot feed.
So Ed was fed, fed and then fed some more, to a point
where Ed was ignoring his own animal instincts that should have told him that
hanging out with the likes of Mr. and Mrs. Fatass was more dangerous than
accepting party favors from Amanda Bynes.
It got to a point where Ed would simply approach anything
on two legs, looking for a culinary handout.
This brings us to another sweetheart of a human being,
Mr. iPhone. Now Mr. iPhone thinks that anything and everything should be the
subject of a picture, which he is only too happy to take, and then post on
whatever website he can find.
After all, as Mr.iPhone would be the first to tell you,
he is so talented and important that anything he finds amusing should be loved
and adored by all humans everywhere.
It just so happened that our boy Ed was in full begging
mode, playfully nudging some guy on the side of the road in the park.
“Oh, how cute,” said Mr. iPhone, who proceeded to film
this blessed event and rapidly post it on Videosofanything.com.
Sure enough, the video goes viral and soon websurfers
around the globe are watching en masse and creaming their jeans over the guy on
the side of the road being nuzzled by a clone of Bullwinkle J. Moose.
It didn’t take long for the Great Smokey Mountain
National Park hierarchy to become aware that one of its own – our boy Ed – had
become an internet superstar, of sorts.
Now, the park hierarchy, one would think, should be
looking after the well being of all of its critters, particularly the four-legged
and furry, who might have a hard time thinking and reacting like anything but
what they are.
After witnessing the video, the park hierarchy determined
that Ed or any other food-crazed mammal running amok was a recipe for potential
disaster (in other words, animal bites that lead to lawsuits that lead to some
bureaucrat in the hip pocket of a local politician coming to the conclusion
that the national park land was better suited to being the site of a new Best
Buy-anchored strip mall, or better yet, a location to drill for oil).
This was the moment when the park folks should have
swooped in, reprimanding all those who illegally stuff food into the jaws of
those that don’t know any better and pledging to do whatever necessary to
prevent these transgressions against nature to occur in the future.
Instead, and to the surprise of no one, they reacted like
human beings. And rarely does anything good come from that reaction.
Did the park decide to move Ed 20 miles or so from where
he was bumming dinner? Did the park decide to relocate Ed to a different wooded
park? How about donating Ed to a nearby petting zoo?
Nope, the brainchildren of the park decided to do the
human thing – they killed Ed.
Ed, that internet hero and innocent furry friend to park
goers of North Carolina, was euthanized.
It’s the human reaction to most sticky situations, and a
slam dunk to any situations involving a non-human – convince the public there
is a potential danger (even if there’s no evidence to back it up) and then remove
another soul from the planet.
So our star Ed found out what most stars soon learn –
revered today, dead tomorrow.
Unfortunately for a soul that didn’t have a say in the
matter, the lesson was literal.