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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student

Respect and protect nature

Joanna Zelman, executive editor of the Dodo, posted a compelling piece about the dangers of human insensitivity on her blog.

The Dodo, as the name might suggest, helps endangered animals and raises awareness about threats to habitats and animal ?welfare.

Zelman described a day at the beach that ended in a grim and shocking death.

A baby shark wandered into the shallows of the swimming area and was caught by a tourist who wanted to take a photo with it.

Why you would pick up a shark, even a baby, is beyond me, but that’s what these people apparently did.

And suddenly, there was a line. Everyone wanted a selfie with the baby shark.

Zelman, hearing the commotion, went over to see what all the fuss was about. The shark was struggling to breathe and growing weaker.

She tried to fight off the tourists, telling them they were killing the animal by keeping it above water. They all ignored her, too engrossed in taking a ?picture.

They continued to take pictures after Zelman managed to get ahold of the shark and check to see if it was still alive after so much stress.

But before she could do anything else, the baby suffocated and died.

Perhaps one of the saddest parts of the alleged story, when Zelman went to put the shark’s lifeless body back in the water, a little girl stomped over to her and said she didn’t want the shark “stinking up her ocean.”

The inhumane cruelty of the shark’s death was terrible, and we can all point fingers at lack of education and a fundamental misunderstanding of how impactful the death of an animal can be on an ecosystem, but at the end of the day, this is probably not the first time an animal has died because a human didn’t know they were ?killing it.

This is a problem that extends to Bloomington, too.

The Monroe County Recycling Center website says that the nearest recycling centers in Bloomington are all 20 minutes to a half hour away from campus — too far for most students.

There were problems with the Griffy Lake deer population.

On a larger scale, the bee populations are dying off, and the Global Research Centre has reported that it has to do with the obscene amounts of pesticides dumped into fields and a misunderstanding of the importance of the bee in the production of fruits and vegetables.

In short, Bloomington is not without its environmental problems.

These horror stories of human incompetence and cruelty stretch beyond tourist traps loaded with inept ocean-goers who just want to take a selfie with the local flora and fauna.

Human beings have to start recognizing that nature is not “touch-it-and-see-what-happens,” but nor is it a museum of ?fossils.

Nature needs to be preserved and protected.

Sometimes, the easiest way to do so is to not do anything.

Like, for example, not taking a baby shark out of the ocean and killing it.

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