Goodbye, Benjamin

Seventy years ago, the last known thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger died in the Hobart zoo on September 7th. The Aussies are remembering the anniversary as Threatened Species Day.

Rumors hold out hope that there may still be survivors out there in the forest. The Fortean Times reports an agreement among cryptozoologists that if a living thylacine is ever found, it will be kept secret to protect them from prying eyes.

Now E. O. Wilson is trying to talk sense about species diversity and the need to reverse the coming extinction event.

In one of his novels, John D. MacDonald imagined a character who became so disraught at the clearing of a nature preserve, she fell into a killing depression and catatonia. I tremble to think of the effect on my friends when the last wild tiger is killed to make medicine for a Chinaman's penis or a fur rug for a Russian gangster. At that point we might want to reconsider our rejection of the eco-terrorist's methods, but it won't bring back the thylacine or the last tiger.

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