Jul 26, 2011, 4:41 PM EST
And who can blame them? Look at this fearsome beast, floating Zeppelin-like in this lagoon, ready to slowly swim toward you and possibly nuzzle your face. “Help!” you gasp, and you crawl back into the boat, terrified. “I think he licked me!”
From Click Rally Magazine:
A Florida tea party has taken another step in its effort to protect the citizens of the United States. While its current list of enemies of the state is expansive — including taxes, high-speed rail, and socialized medicine — it has not yet expanded into the realm of wildlife. While all three species of manatees are listed by the World Conservation Organization as vulnerable to extinction, the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots have declared the mammal “dangerous.”
The Florida political group recently announced its plan to fight U.S. Fish and Wildlife restrictions on boating and other human activities.
True quote from a Tea Party leader:
“We cannot elevate nature above people,” said Edna Mattos, 63, leader of the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots, in an interview. “That’s against the Bible and the Bill of Rights.”
Yes, luckily, the Founding Fathers anticipated the manatee scourge, and installed several stopgaps to keep us safe.
The Kings Bay wildlife refuge in Citrus County has been under federal protection since 1980, and manatee numbers there have increased from just 100 to a thriving population of 550. But burgeoning development and increased tourist numbers have put strain on the animals; between May 1 and Aug. 30 of last year alone, seven manatees were killed by speeding boats. U.S. Fish and Wildlife restrictions curtail boat use and require boaters to reduce speeds.
But now it’s time to show you my favorite quote of the day, week, and possibly forever. I swear this is true. Enjoy:
Although tea partier Mattos said she brings her grandchildren to see the manatees, she doesn’t see a point in the Save the Manatee Club. “If some of these environmental movements had been around in the days of the dinosaurs, we’d be living in Jurassic Park now,” she said.
So, one is a fat, dull-witted, ponderous herd of creatures, and the other is the manatees. Got it.
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- None found