A conservationist tries to make sense of a town grief-stricken over a wild turkey that got a little too comfortable among humans.
People in Easton, MA are so torn up about “Freddie” that a facebook page was created. It has over 1500 fans. There was also a memorial for the bird, with flowers, all of which leads wildlife biologist Michael Hutchins to surmise:
I have to wonder how we can redirect the tremendous energy and emotion focused on this individual animal toward the conservation of endangered species and their habitats? I find it almost perverse that people are spending this much of their precious time and resources mourning one individual of a common species ( more than 3 million wild turkeys are estimated to roam the U.S.) when animals like black-footed ferrets, California condors, gopher tortoises, northern spotted owls, and many others are teetering on the brink of irreversible and final extinction. Who will mourn them when they are gone?
As for me, I’m wondering what all these people eat for Thanksgiving.
Carl Zimmer surveys the science communication landscape over the last ten years. As he notes, many scientists today are taking matters into their own hands. To understand how radical this is, Zimmer shares a hilarious anecdote on how scientists responded to the 1999 Kansas Board of Education decision on evolution.