When natural disasters occur, we focus our attention on people, people activities, and people habitats, which is a good thing–we should be concerned about the lives of others.
During all the hurricane news last week, one thing that surprised me was the complete and total attention to people. Way up here, in the upper corner of North America, I read articles and listened to reports from Manteo, North Carolina. It was one of those Outer Banks towns engulfed by water.
Just across the channel from Manteo lies a small refuge, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, where the only wild population of red wolves exists. Since those red wolves are so rare, I expected some mention of their population, at a sentence or two about chances of survival.
I’ve been to ARNWR. It’s barely above sea level. It’s flat. No hill for wildlife to gather. No possibilities to outrun a hurricane. I imagined wolves riding out the flood on dead falls. I imagined others drowning.
There were no reports on the red wolves. When it comes to natural disasters, media values people over endangered species.
There are only about 100 wild red wolves. They all live in or near ARNWR. In 2003, Hurricane Isabel lead to the deaths of 2 captive wolves in the refuge.
I am happy to be the bearer of good news. We are fortunate, no red wolves were killed by Irene.
Drink to that.