Yellowstone national park is one of the most successful examples of conservation efforts in America. It also remains one of the more enduring legacies of the Grant administration (right alongside the establishment of the first Civil Service Commission and the Whiskey Ring Scandal). It stretches over 3 states and is home to many iconic geographical formations and endangered species. Some of these animals have even become celebrities in their own right.
Last week the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department issued the sad news that one of the parks more recognizable and well loved residents has been mysteriously shot and killed. Scarface, a 25 year old endangered grizzly bear, had become one of the parks most celebrated residents. Due to a life spent competing with rivals and struggling to survive he had acquired a number of scars including the one that earned him his name. Aside from being really cool, this scar made him immediately recognizable to park rangers and visitors alike. His sudden murder came as a shock to wildlife enthusiasts nationwide. Jill Cooper and Simon Jackson (wildlife photographers) had this to say: “Our emotions alternate between shock, sadness, anger and a profound sense of loss.”
Scarface’s death has started a conversation on the place of Grizzly bears on the endangered species list. Many believe they no longer deserve to be protected and in fact, as of May 10th these bears will be de-listed in the lower 48 states. Do you think this is a good idea? Leave a comment and voice your opinion below.