A triumph and a failure happened almost simultaneously when researchers from the American Museum of Natural History recently photographed the endangered mustached kingfisher for the very first time, but then elected to kill it to study it further. Such is the way of science, but there are indications of a change in attitude as some of those involved in decisions like these become more compassionate.
This relates directly to the sasquatch problem. Science needs a body to prove something like the sasquatch exists, but to me the act of killing a sasquatch seems barbaric for any reason. No ape, hominoid, nor hominin of any type (proven or unproven) should be killed to satisfy humanity’s curiosity. Perhaps, not even a kingfisher should. I try to err on the side of compassion in my choices, especially when life and death decisions are made.
Could we set a precedent and prove the existence of sasquatches to the academic community and NOT kill one? I believe so, but only with a growing body of well-documented evidence collected by level-headed citizen-scientists. The mountains of blob squatches, bad DNA evidence, misidentified hair samples, and fake footprints being waved about by zealots, hoaxers, and attention-seekers only make the job that much harder by making the scientists even more reluctant to look at the good evidence that is out there. It’s tantamount to professional suicide for most scientists to become involved in the fray, and only a few brave souls with credentials have dared to wade into the bigfoot quagmire. The longer the circus barkers continue selling their wares, the more likely it will take a dead sasquatch to prove anything to anyone.
For now, I’ll leave you with the words of Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, who wrote in a blog post: “Killing ‘in the name of conservation’ or ‘in the name of education’ or ‘in the name of whatever’ simply needs to stop. It is wrong and sets a horrific precedent for future research and for children. Imagine what a youngster would think if he or she heard something like, ‘I met a rare and gorgeous bird today…and I killed him.’”
“Even if this handsome male [mustached kingfisher] were a member of a common species, there was no reason to kill him. It sickens me that this practice continues and I hope more people will work hard to put an end to it right now, before more fascinating animals are killed.”
To read more about the kingfisher situation, click this link.