Puppets make everything better—even in science! At the San Diego Zoo’s program to repopulate the California Condor, they are using a puppet to rear the young ones. Why? Because everyone loves puppets! Actually, no. They don’t want the little condors imprinting humans as mothers. This will allow the condors to grow up and go out into the world and do what they were meant to: eat rotting flesh.
That’s something I didn’t know. Growing up in California and hearing about the near extinction of the condor, I always thought they were some beautiful big bird like a crane. Alas, no. They are a kind of vulture. And I know: every animal has its purpose. We are all one in the ecosystem. And I’m very fond of the vulture’s approach to survival. There’s always someone dying. And as The Onion recently asked, Wait, Why Can’t We Eat Other People Again? I mean, other than the fact that it’s kind of gamy.
But one way we certainly are all alike is in our fondness for puppets. Just watch this young condor. Mama!
Image is a low-resolution detail of a photo by Bob Grieser.