Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Respect Wildlife

Respect wildlife, it sounds pretty straight forward. How do you define it for yourself? Some would say that if your presence alters an animal's behavior then you are too close. Does this apply to just large mammals, or the little guys as well?

On a recent family camping trip, my two young girls and I came upon a small snake. My instinct was to quickly catch the snake, which I did. My girls and I spent a couple minutes holding, looking at, and enjoying this little snake before sending him back into the undergrowth.

Was this a classic case of poor judgment, or a great teachable moment? In the end I believe this comes down to a personal choice for all of us. For myself, to see the look of amazement in my daughter's eyes, and to have them excited (rather than afraid) to see the next snake on the trail, was worth it. I believe touching and feeling, is a sure way to build appreciation, especially with the creepy crawly variety. This appreciation will hopefully lead to the development of my girl's own personal outdoor ethics as they grow up.

What would you have done?

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