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Sunday, September 24, 2017

What is Conservation? What is Wildlife?

Bow and I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth: the Missouri Ozarks. However, I am not a native of Missouri, and while Bow was born in this state, he is not a wild animal In Missouri, all the chimpanzees are domesticated, and none is subject to the Department of Conservation. But Bow still enjoys reading The Missouri Conservationist and looking at all the big, colorful pictures of Missouri wildlife that can be found within its covers.

"What is that book about?" my reader from Scotland asked when he saw Bow leafing through the Missouri Conservationist.  I answered: "It's not a book. It's a magazine about wildlife and the flora and fauna of Missouri, the state that Bow and I live in. It has pictures of the same kind of deer and the same kind of butterflies that lie just outside our front door." And that is really what it is. This issue featured Monarch butterflies and white tailed deer of the very sort that showed up in the last few entries in this blog.

Deer come almost right up to my front door. I go out to the meadow and each time I meet a different butterfly.

We don't really need to read the Missouri Conservationist to see these sights, but the Missouri Department of Conservation puts out the magazine, and Bow's friend Charla subscribes to it and brings Bow copies to read.

Another friend who saw the video of Bow flipping through the pages of the Missouri Conservationist had this to say: "Sorry Bow, no cute chimps (other than you) in the Ozarks."  But that's not quite factual, so I replied: "There are actually quite a few here in Missouri, but they are, of course, not native wildlife." I meant that because all chimpanzee in the US are domesticated, they would naturally not pose for the Missouri Conservationist, the way the deer and the butterflies do. But my friend said she thought Bow was looking for girlie pictures. Well, that's what we have Harper's Bazaar for. But it's something that I am very thankful for that the Missouri Department of Conservation has shown no interest in our locally born and bred chimpanzees.

The same cannot be said for US Fish & Wildlife, who, by declaring that American domesticated chimpanzees are an endangered species, have opened the door for PETA to harass local breeders into giving up their chimps and sending them to sanctuaries where they will not be allowed to breed, based on the claim that the species is endangered. Attempts to get a declaratory judgment to say the Endangered Species Act does not apply have proved fruitless.

Right at the moment, I am very glad there are no pictures of chimpanzees in the Missouri Conservationist. At least our local government has not yet lost its mind. They know that conservation of Missouri wildlife only applies to Missouri wildlife, not exotics and not domesticated animals.


  1. I hope Bow can continue to live in peace without all the unnecessary and unhelpful legislation.