Since I was a young child, it has been hammered into my head that humans share the planet with wildlife. This has given me a base of kindness and conservation for nature’s intricate ecosystems. In college my field of study was aquatic biology. Each summer, a group of students traveled to the far northern reaches of Canada and studied the migratory patterns of water species, including birds.
One cloudy July morning we were trudging through marshland in our hip boots (no, not fashionably hip) and came upon a nest of ducklings that looked like Brown-braided eiders, a species long thought to be extinct. As they had never seen humans before they had no fear of us, sitting snuggled together without any concern.
Our first thought was to start snapping pictures with our phones, to send out to the world, but Ophelia spoke up and said, “Wait! Before we decide to tell the world these precious ducks are not extinct, we need to ask ourselves if that is a secret better left kept.”
I was confused and asked, “Why is that, Ophelia?”
“Knowing what we know about humans, what might happen if their existence is known?”
Bernie said, “A herd of scientific types will take the redeye to get here and tramp and stumble through their habitat. Then one will want to take a duckling for scientific study.”
I said, “I see what you guys are getting at. My vote is to let them be, without human interference.”
The group took a vote and decided to leave them in peace.