Monday, August 07, 2006

A fed bear is a dead bear.

This morning I awoke to NPR's Morning Edition discussing orangutan problems in Indonesia - Sumatra to be exact. You can listen to it on the NPR website and read a synopsis. They mentioned the problems some places are having with ecotourists feeding the orangutans. Orangutans gravitate to the garbage left by people.

A fed bear is a dead bear.

'N 'Uf said.

Ecotourism can work to help endangered species and the habitat they occupy, BUT it has to be done right.

Don't touch or feed the animals. Pack out what you pack in.
That means ALL of your shit, including your shit.
Leave no trace. Take only memories.

I like this lesson from Le Petit Prince:
Once you tame something you are responsible for its well-being.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”

The french version is four times as long:
..."Qu'est-ce que signifie <>?
- C'est une chose trop oubliée, dit le renard. Ça signifie <>
- Créer des liens?
- Bien sûr,
dit le renard. Tu n'es encore pour moi qu'un petit garçon tout semblable à cent mille petits garçons. Et je n'ai ps besoin de toi. Et tu n'as pas besoin de moli non plus. Je ne suis pout toi qu'un renard semblable à cent mille renards. Mais, si tu m'apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l'un de l'autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde..."
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Fox begs for the Little Prince to tame him, but the Little Prince says he doesn't have enough time. That's a good lesson for everyone for relationships of all kinds. If you don't have the time to care for something, don't even start.

The Fox also delivers one of the most quoted of all of St. X's lines:
"Adieu, dit le renard. Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essential est invisible pour les yeux."

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

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