You have no doubt read of the giant saltwater crocodile captured in the Southern Philippines. Something like 26 feet long and thick, rather like Uncle Bob after 40 years of beer drinking, only with a belly several meters long.
That sucker is big, and mean, and suspected of dining on Filipinos.
Animal rights activists are outraged that the beast is being held in captivity where the shock of being under lock and key has suppressed the croc's desire to eat.
Tickets to see the monster go for 25 pesos and I would guess the locals are making a bit of money at the beast's expense.
The animal rights activists want the monster set free to roam the swamplands as one of God's precious creatures.
I had the pleasure of visiting Australia in 2004 and roamed for several days in Kakadu National Park, where aboriginal spirits inhabit the rocky hills and salt water crocodiles infest some of the streams where tourists occasionally dip a toe. My guide lived in the area, and I could tell he was nervous about getting too close to the muddy waters where the creatures lurked. The hair on the back of my neck would rise as we neared the places where the ravenous reptiles hid.
The thing is, I see few animal rights activists whose homes rest at the edge of the waters where monsters prowl. They opine from afar, instructing residents whose kids walk to school that the crocodile is more important than their kids are. I'm afraid I don't buy it. Now if the activists want to show up with a huge truck and several thousand dollars, I'd say "take the beast, but put it some place where people don't reside. YOU take responsibility for disposing of the beast and reimburse us for our economic loss."
The world is changing, rapidly. It always has. New species come, old ones go. The great pine forests of America are a recent growth, animport that drove out the native trees. Sabre tooth cats used to prowl in the same neighborhood where I prowled, off Wilshire Boulevard at La Brea, Los Angeles, California, USA. The evidence is right there amongst the high rise office buildings and high-end automobiles that congest the West Side of LA: bones pulled from the muck of the La Brea tar pits.
Let me assure you that the office buildings and cars are a vast improvement over gigantic, slobbering carnivorous cats with teeth a foot long.
I feel no sense of loss at the absence of these creatures. I feel a sense of awe at wondering what they would have been like. But they are history and I am not. Shit happens.
I also don't miss the typewriter that is now evolved into a keyboard.
Deal with it.
And if the locals want to turn that huge beast into shoes, or an amusement park with a ride no one will take, that is hunky dory by me. Go get the rest of the man-eaters out of there, too.
I have fonder feelings for little Jose who is on his way to school.
I'd also rather see an economy there than crocodiles.