|What if we turned the
problem of resolving Terrorism over to the Wildlife Conservation Society
at the Bronx Zoo? For more than 100 years the Bronx Zoo has
fought the Terrorism of the animal kingdom, and preserved peace among
many threatened species. Could its experience in negotiating
world Vigilance be better than the United Nations, the U.S.?
Find out what your take is on the Conservation of Human Wildlife in
this fascinating look at how to stave off Terrorism in the 21st
7, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 482
Why We Need To Turn
TerrorHunting Over To The Bronx Zoo's Wildlife Conservatory Society
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, Jan. 7--
Every now and then the magic of Vigilance has a way of filtering its
way through the clouds of Terrorism.
Last night that Vigilant magic showered
down at the famous New York City Bronx Zoo's Festival of Lights.
For three fantasy hours the threat of North
Korea's defiance of the U.S. and its arrogance toward the United
Nations faded as I drove my daughter, wife and three grandchildren
into the parking lot of the Bronx Zoo. I didn't realize I was en
route to a world where even the most troubled soul or concerned
auditor of Terrorism would be forced to put down his or her angst and be
consumed by a winter-wonderland of lights and snow, all designed to
remove the tensions of a world on the brink of war. I didn't
realize I was about to enter a world of Anti-Terrorism, where the
solution to Fear, Intimidation and Complacency would rise up and greet
For some magical reason--perhaps because
the air was filled with shiny silver shards of snow dancing like
celestial glitter through the branches of snow-laden trees, and
because spotlights ignited trails of lights carved into the shapes of
animals that blinked and shimmered in the chilly, still air as though
a kingdom was waiting for those who believed in the beauty not the
ugliness of the world--I didn't think of Osama bin Laden or Saddam
Hussein, or the children being abducted in Sri Lanka by Tiger
Terrorists to be used as suicide bombers in a twenty-year struggle for
The falling snow and glittering
lights of the festival washed clean my daily vision of Terrorism's
claws raking the underbelly of the world, both at home and abroad.
For a few, relaxing moments I didn't think about the children in New
Jersey locked in a fetid room in a basement for weeks as their mother
lay in a hospital, struck by a car after she had abandoned them to a
negligent baby sitter. I forgot the face of the young boy
who had challenged me on the bus the other day, his eyes symbolizing
his early hatred of others he had chosen to believe as his "enemies,"
or that he was walking hand-in-hand with his guardian--the Beast of
Terror--who taught him how to spew the venoms of Fear, Intimidation
and Complacency on those whom he deemed oppressors.
The snow's silvery fluttering down
through the boughs of the Bronx Zoo trees, the ooohs and ahhhs of the
kids, and my own sweeping feeling of my adulthood being stripped from
me, releasing my "child within," gripped my soul. The
beauty of the night swept me clean of my TerrorHunterism stance.
I had entered Nature's Womb of Innocence, a place where all who enter
are freed of trappings that inhibit their imagination, or thoughts
that try to shove out the magic of what can be for the stone-cold
reality of what is.
As I walked through the rows of lights
glistening in the night, I was reminded that the Bronx Zoo is the
grandfather of TerrorHunting. For more than a century it
has fought battles of Vigilance against the rape, pillage and plunder
humans exert over the land, and swung its Sword of Vigilance and held
up its Shield of Vigilance to protect the innocent, the children's
children's children of the land. While it's mission has
been to preserve and protect the "creatures of the earth," its result
has been to remind us all that the wanton destruction of life, and the
extermination of a species can be stopped through Acts of Vigilance.
It only requires Courage, Conviction and Right Actions to achieve.
The Bronx Zoo opened its gates to the
public on November 8, 1899. Its goals were clear: create a
zoological park, advance the study of zoology, protect wildlife and
educate the public. It started with 22 exhibits and
843 animals. Today it boasts over 4,000 animals and spreads over
265 acres. Its exhibits include some of the most advanced
wildlife sanctuaries in the world, including the magnificent Congo
Gorilla Forest, geared to help endangered gorillas breed and preserve
the magnificent creatures.
The Zoo's history as a Sentinel of
Vigilance and expert TerrorHunter of those who would eradicate
creatures through neglect or intent is not a 21st Century
innovation. It became the first Zoo Of Vigilance, bent on
protecting the children's children's children of the animal world from
the Beast of Terror's claws and jaws. In this sense, it became
the First Parent of Zoological Vigilance. It's first Act of
Vigilance was to protect the bison.
In 1899, William T. Hornaday, the
zoo's first director, foresaw the extinction of the American bison.
Once numbering more than 50 million, the herds were reduced to less
than 1,000 by wholesale slaughter for their skins. Hornaday
sponsored the founding of the American Bison Society at the Bronx
Zoo's Lion House. He fought for and achieved national protection
for the bison and lobbied for rangeland establishment for new herds.
In 1907, 15 of the Bronx Zoo bison were shipped to Oklahoma's Wichita
Mountain Preserve. Others were shipped to refuges in Montana,
South Dakota and Nebraska. A vast majority of the bison in
the western U.S. are the children's children's children of Bronx Zoo
buffalo shipped at the turn of the 20th Century from the Bronx Zoo.
Perhaps upon entering the gates of the Bronx Zoo
last night, I felt at home, at peace and ease with my surroundings.
I was walking in the Heart of Vigilance, a deep contrast to Joseph
Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" where I spend so much time each day in my
efforts to hunt down Terrorism and expose it. As I
negotiated the vermiculating paths leading up to the main exhibits,
the falling snow washed away the shadow of the Beast of Terror.
It seemed to cleanse me of the Beast's blood, and replaced the
purification of his scent with purity of purpose of how Vigilance can
overcome Terrorism, even if such a fortress of Vigilance is contained
in 250 acres in the heart of New York City. The credit goes to
the vision of people a century ago who created the a society of
Three years before the Bronx Zoo opened, Mr.
Hornaday created the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in 1895.
He set about its mission to protect the world from Terrorism, and in
so doing, became the Parent of Zoological Vigilance.
Here are some of the achievements the WCS has made over the past
century, as listed on the Bronx Zoo website.
|The Society has helped to establish more than
100 wildlife sanctuaries around the world. In the last five
years, the Society's efforts have led to the protection of over
90 million acres in 11 countries. The Society also manages more
than 270 field conservation projects in over 50 nations.
|The Bronx Zoo opened to the public in 1899. Today, the
original site in the Bronx remains the headquarters for the
Wildlife Conservation Society. |
|The Bronx Zoo serves as an international center for
environmental education, and a facility for perpetuating rare
and endangered species, wildlife health sciences, and
|The Bronx Zoo is home to almost 4,000 animals of 543
species, including lowland gorillas, snow leopards, Asian
elephants, Siberian tigers, American bison, and other rare and
endangered species. |
|In 1994 there were 1,253 births and hatchings at the Bronx
|The facility is located on 265 acres and is the largest
urban zoo in America. |
|It has an annual attendance of approximately 2 million.
As I reviewed the WCS
achievements, I thought about the United Nations struggling to ward
off Terrorism throughout the world. It seemed to me the members of the U.N. tend to turn their heads as nations decimate their human
"creatures." The result is many nations treat their "human
creatures" with neglect, imposing upon them poverty, starvation, and
often even killing their own as Saddam Hussein did when he gassed the
Kurds. Often, the U.N. does nothing but talk or slap a
hand here or there. Only until recently when the U.S. stood up
and thumped its chest regarding Iraq did the wheels of the U.N. start
to churn. I thought of the Complacency of human beings to
the maltreatment of their own species, and how often the starving in
regions of the world that never make the headlines, go unaided in
their struggle to preserve their children's safety and security.
I thought about how the WCS would react if someone were to gas
and kill all the parrots of a nation, or their response to a country
that sent out snipers to kill the newly born children of the Siberian
Tigers, or one that destroyed the food chain surrounding the fragile
snow leopards with radioactive waste. I was sure the WCS would
bring the wrath of the world upon the heads of state who allowed such
crimes against nature to happen.
I wondered if the WCS was in charge
of world events how they would look at North Korea spending millions
of dollars to support a standing army of 1 million troops with 4.5
million in reserve as their children starved. I wondered
what they would have done when they heard how the famine in North
Korea killed 2 million people, mostly the young, the future of the
I was inclined to want the leadership
of the WCS to take over the seats of the United Nations for a few
months, perhaps a few years, and apply the principles of "species
conservation" to human beings. I had a strong feeling they
would have a much better handle on how to contain the Beast of Terror
that ran rampant throughout the world, and apply environmental checks
and balances than the current members who seem to only talk and never
take actions to limit or prohibit the proliferation of dangers to the
human species, especially to the children's children's children.
The WCS would be aware that creatures
"fight," but that they fight only to survive not to conquer.
If they kill another creature, they kill to eat their victim, or in
defense of an assault on their homeland, their lair, their nest.
They do not arm themselves to wage war on the rest of the creatures,
and, they have an uncanny ability to coexist with one another in
perfect ecological balance when such balance is not disturbed by human
I bowed to the WCS's
wisdom of species management. They knew animals came
before humans on the evolutionary chain. Even those who
subscribe to the Bible as the authority of human existence must face
the fact God first created the "creatures of the earth," and
then, after the fact, created human beings. Biblical
scholars may argue over the statement in Genesis that God gave man and
woman "dominion over the animals." The dispute over whether God gave
humans the right to do whatever they wanted, or the duty to protect
and respect them is easily answered by the WCS. The latter
is their choice.
If mankind and womankind took the WCS
approach to life as they see it, everyone would be treated with
respect on an equal footing. Those who endangered the balance
would be termed Terrorists. They would be the voracious who
"kill for killing sake," or who "rape, pillage and plunder" others for
self gain, without respect or duty to others--all others, humans,
animals, plants--all life. They would not be surprised if a war
broke out when one nation attacked another, just as they wouldn't be
surprised at a mother bear attacking a wolverine after the bear's cub.
But they would deny the wolverine the right to amass weapons of mass
destruction to threaten mother bear into giving over her cubs, or the
right of the mother bear to hunt down and kill the wolverine on the
assumption that one day the wolverine would seek out her cub.
Balance does not mean pacifism.
The WCS's approach to North Korea and
Iraq would be fascinating to watch. Even though these two
nations happen to be Terrorism headline grabbers, they represent a
common problem of warring nations geared to threaten the cubs of all
the mother bears. I would assume the WCS would present the case
not only of their danger in threatening the lives of human beings, but
would include a list of the lives of all creatures--ants, butterflies,
trees, flowers, mice, cows, birds and bees. They would
present the dangers not of the moral waste, but of the ecological
waste as well. If humans had become totally inured to
accepting the death of other human beings as the "price of war," they
might be shocked into a State of Vigilance by realizing the impact war
had on all living things--plants and animals. If they
weren't inclined to shed tears of sadness because of prejudice and
bigotry or mere human complacency over human destruction, perhaps they
would over the death of a sparrow, or the homelessness of a fawn, or
the radioactive poisoning of a koala bear.
Absurd? Not necessarily.
Wildlife Conservation is a recognition that all things are wild--even
human beings. While we pretend to be civilized, our acts of
violence against one another are far more cruel than an alligator
eating a Zebra simply because the alligator only eats what he can
consume, while mankind tends to kill far more than he can eat.
Mankind is not exempt from being "wild" and "primal," for inside man
and woman roams a Beast of Terror that has no boundaries once
unleashed. As our nuclear proliferation continues, our
hunger to build weapons of mass destruction escalates, our ability to
kill everything increases in inverse proportions. Civilization
becomes more uncivilized with each degree of technology.
Ergo, our "Wildlife
Conservation Needs" expand equally, for the wilderness of the rogue
nation or person who seeks to wield power through destruction expands
far beyond our ability to control it. In a perverse sense,
the more advanced we become on one hand, the more primal our Beast of
Terror becomes on the other. That is, the "wilder we become."
And, the more we need "Wildlife Conservation" to preserve our species
As we walked around the Bronx Zoo
last night I thought about how one day the WCS--if put in charge of
World TerrorHunting, or, more appropriately, "Terrorism Conservation,"
about the WCS building a "Terrorist Enclosure" at the zoo. They
could place it next to the Tasmanian Devil exhibit (no disrespect
intended to the Tasmanian Devil whose name gives it a bad rap).
In this enclosure would be all the captured Terrorists who feed on
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency. It would house those who
refute Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the sake of the
children's children's children. It would be home to those who
sought to "kill for killings sake."
battling in the "Terrorist Enclosure"
Parents and children could visit the
enclosure and see the Beasts of Terror tearing and ripping one another
apart in an effort to give "dominion over all." While cruel in
appearance, it would symbolize the Terrorist's secular interpretation
of standing above all other creatures at the expense of all life.
Parents of Vigilance viewing the exhibit with their children would
remind their wards that these Beasts of Terror must be guarded and
protected from release into the wild, for when they gain freedom they
seek to feed on one's Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies.
The enclosure could be easily
built on the bones of both humans and living creatures such Terrorists
have wantonly destroyed over time. These bones would be signets
of the waste Terrorism creates in its pursuit of power over others, in
its drive to rule by threat and coercion, and its careless disregard
for the safety and security of future generations.
Available at the Terror
Enclosure would be copies of the Pledge of Vigilance. Parents,
Guardians and Loved Ones of Vigilance could reaffirm their commitment
to keep the Beast of Terror locked in the Bronx Zoo. They could
sign the Pledge of Vigilance or renew their existing vows to bring
about a State of Vigilance to the world--one similar to that which the
WCS has been working on for more than a hundred years with outstanding
As I thought about the
idea, I smiled. It made much more sense to turn the World
of Terrorism over the WCS than to the United States or the United
My thoughts collapsed
when I heard my grandchildren laugh.
They were making
snowballs and throwing them at me, chasing me along the lighted paths
of Bronx Zoo's Conservatory of Human and Creature Dignity.
I forgot about Terrorism
for a moment. I forgot about the Terrorism Enclosure. I forgot
about the WCS taking over the U.S. and U.N. role of TerrorHunters,
I forgot about it because
the children were laughing, safe, secure in a world of magic created
by the Bronx Zoo--a world worth striving to create everywhere on
Jan 6--The Beast Of Terror Is Stealing Our Children Daily
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