It’s surprising how often themes from my novel CUTE EATS CUTE arise in the news. This current story is about an ecologist’s efforts in Massachusetts to save an endangered species of northern venomous rattlesnake. Hardly “cute eats cute,” right?
This issue isn’t that people think a rattlesnake is charismatic fauna, but that it is endangered. Granted many humans have fear of snakes, especially poisonous ones and aren’t too eager to sign on to giving them their own island which is the plan. How this relates to the issue in my novel (too many deer in an urban park) is that it pits one’s prejudices (vis a vis the animal kingdom) against one’s stated beliefs (that any endangered species deserves “equal treatment” before the law). Even ugly ones. Even poisonous ones.
You also have factions and fear-mongering. People are sending out videos of swimming snakes and implying that there is no such thing as a protected island, that these critters (it only takes one pair) could swim to your town and reproduce. Hence you’d get an urban version of Snakes of Plane.
If there is anything to enjoy about the controversy it’s how complicated it is for us (an animal species) to rise above the animal kingdom (angelic humans) and treat them fairly. We can’t exactly treat them fairly because in this case we might be harmed or killed by them just doing what they do. In Africa and other places where predators big enough to prey on humans live, the issue is essentially the same. Still, it’s easier to make a case (to the Westerner anyway) that a majestic lion has a right to exist even if he occasionally wanders into a village and kills a human. Thus you have the ongoing fight (also reminiscent of parts of my novel) that pits hunters against hate-hunting people. Remember the outrage people had over the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the Lion?