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Animal ethics, wildlife in the wild

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When Europeans invaded the North American continent they not only disturbed the cultural balance but also the balance of the wildlife. They brought their animals with them which in turn destroyed the habitat and introduced new diseases that the native species had no immunity. In the last century many of these animals were put on the endangered species list.

It is a question of whether or not to intervene when a wild animal is in danger. Should man help a beached whale back to open water? Should animals that are diseased or injured be treated? Is it the duty of humans to maintain the environment? One of the answers is intervention when the problem has been caused by humans.

Grey whales were saved from being stranded by winter ice off the coast of Alaska.

Big horn sheep in Yellowstone National Park have contracted pink eye which led to blindness and ultimate death. It could have easily been treated, but it was decided that natural selection would strengthen their immune system.

Feral goats have endangered several native species of vegetation on San Clemente Island resulting in a mass killing off of the animals.

Wolves have been reintroduced to the Yellowstone Park habitat much to the chagrin of the neighboring ranchers. In Wisconsin the wolves are no longer on the endangered species list.

The native peoples of the Americas understood their environment and the animals that shared their habitat. It is time for the new Americans must learn the same understanding.



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