Rare species applies for voluntary extinction

What's the point?

One of Africa’s rarest mammals, the Timkinson’s Small-Footed Gazelle, has shocked wildlife experts and conservationists by applying for voluntary extinction.

The animal which lives a precarious existence on the margins of the Namib Desert is prey to so many other creatures that it feels it simply isn’t worth the bother of trying to stay alive any more. ‘During the course of our migration from the sand dunes of the Namib to the waters of the Okavango Delta,’ said a spokes-gazelle ‘we must suffer attacks from lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles and a very bad tempered rhino called ‘Simon’.’ The Gazelle’s timid and peaceful nature, coupled with its small stature, low turn of speed and clumsy useless horns makes it vulnerable to practically anything larger than a Dung Beetle. ‘We just can’t see the point of carrying on any more and have asked the Namibian authorities to allow us to travel to Switzerland to commit suicide with dignity.’

The move has prompted a number of English schoolchildren to write to the Namibian government to set up a special nature reserve for this tiny animal and refuse applications for legalized extinction. However the endangered species is far from impressed by the move. ‘Humans are worse than the bloody lions! They shoot us for bushmeat, trap us for their skins and do very unpleasant things with our glands in order to make perfume. The Timkinson’s Small-Footed Gazelle has had enough.’

Wildlife campaigners and conservationists have surprised many with their reaction to the gazelle’s depressing self-analysis. ‘We have to agree with the gazelles that they might as well throw in the towel,’ said Mike Carter of the WWF. ‘I mean we could join the kiddies’ calls for a special reserve and protection and all that. But frankly, it’s not worth all the effort with this one. As species go, the Timkinson’s gazelle’s are just a bit wet. There’s about twenty of them left, and they live in the middle of two thousand hungry lions. I don’t want to give away the ending, but you might want to watch the Discovery Channel Live on Saturday afternoon.’

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Posted: Apr 7th, 2009 by

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