Saturday, June 24, 2017

Predators and Other Annoyances

He may look cute and cuddly, but he's not, which I assume you already knew.

In relation to where I might like to spend the first three to five years following medical school, I've given a considerable amount of thought to the animal populations in various locations. I've also thought about animal species in general, and how I feel about them.  In a zoo or similarly contained setting, basically any animal could continue to live and to breed in a controlled manner as far as I'm concerned. I would never work in a zoo, and only visit zoos when there's a really good reason, and I'm cautious while I'm there. We've all read and heard of small children and incredibly foolish adults falling into various animal enclosures. That sort of thing isn't likely to happen to me. 

Within the city of Anchorage, Alaska, more than two hundred black bears and as many as thirty-five grizzlies live. That's not in forests outside of Anchorage. That's WITHIN THE FREAKiNG CITY!  I wouldn't accept a residency there if I were paid two millions dollars a year for the privilege. (If they were paying more than that, I might consider it, but they're not, so it's a non-issue.) And if you're thinking of the TV show Northern Exposure and wondering if I could, as was the protagonist of the show,  be forced to work there in lieu of student loan repayment,  I have just enough money to pay for my final year of medical school. I won't be an indentured servant forced to work anywhere.

Mountain lions, cougars, pumas, or whatever a person wants to call them, are easily my least favorite animal on the planet. If I had my way, they would be extinct. I wouldn't give a damn what their elimination did to the ecosystem or the food chain.  There aren't a whole lot of them running loose around the neighborhoods I inhabit, but they have been seen in the outskirts of many major metropolitan areas, including Sacramento. I understand that they are there because of humans encroaching on their habitat, but I really don't care. I don't like them and never will. If someone wanted to go on a killing spree and get rid of all of them systematically, i would probably contribute to the person's expenses.

I'm not especially fond of either wolves or coyotes, but as long as they stay away from me, I'm willing to allow them to continue to exist.  I bypass their exhibits when I visit zoos because they creep me out  People who keep them as pets are, in my opinion, lacking in sanity. Among people who love wolves and coyotes, the sane ones typically agree that they're no meant to be pets. Someone will probably comment here that he or she knows someone who owns or owned a wolf and that it is or was a sweet-dispositioned and delightful pet. I will say in advance that I do not believe it.

Lice need to disappear. I'm not an expert about any form of lice except for head lice (pediculus humanus capitis). the other forms are creepy, but the less I know about them, the better. If the human race could get its act together, we could rid the world of head lice once and for all by insuring that the entire population had an adequate supply of louse-killing shampoo and both using it and taking the steps for nit removal (and removal from bedding, clothing, furniture, etc.) for roughly twenty-eight days. Lice cannot survive without human hosts. This cannot happen, however, because there are places in the world where water supply is so limited that the resident population could not afford to waste it on lice removal procedures.Furthermore, if people are dying of starvation in a given area, they obviously lack the energy to combat head lice, and doing so is a low priority for them, as it should be. If we ever find a way to eradicate hunger, deal with water shortages, and fight third-world diseases, head lice elimination could be the fourth priority. it won;t, though, because others do not feel as strongly as I do about head lice.

1 comment:

  1. I lived in Anchorage for two years and was terrified of bears. But in two years I only saw them three times, all while I was in my car and they were running across a road. And I lived in the more suburban feeling part of anchorage. There are lots and lots of parks and wooded areas in the city limits of anchorage so I'm sure they all stay there and away from humans.

    Now moose on the other hand we saw all the time. I had them in front of my house more than once.