TODAY I MET A MAN
Today I met a man, a man of men.
I have personally met Gerald Durrell, the conservationist 50 years ahead of his time. I have met Peter Scott of Slimbridge and the Wetland Trust and less well known but undoubtedly equal Tony Soper, who started the BBC Bristol Natural History Unit almost on his own.
But today I met a man their equal. He has steely grey blue eyes that can see vast distances but miss nothing nearby. He is of ordinary but strong stature. He is the kind of man who could spend a year in the Arctic on his own. And of course he has with him nothing but an 8’ pole to protect himself. He has the mind of a 30 year old Research Scientist, but of course is one, tempered with age, experience and gravitas.
He becomes a Polar Bear when studying Polar Bears.
He is animal with the sagacity of a learned man.
He becomes a fox when studying foxes.
When he watches a bear his eyes twinkle and his heart beats fast. But in his eyes are the sadness caused by the lack of understanding of mankind and what they are doing to his planet and its creatures. He is distraught with the duplicity of mankind. Nearly 2,000 bears are killed each year under the auspices of “traditional hunting” as peoples safety or simply licensed hunting. How can this be when we have just over 20,000 bears and they can hardly maintain that rate in breeding. We know that they can adjust to global warming. But this is what the politicians do not want to know! What they cannot adjust to is unfair predation by the gun and stupid humans led by stupider politicians.
The Arctic is littered with the remains of man’s greed and stupidity. Piles of whale bone, areas covered in walrus bones, huts used by hunters of Polar Bears, Foxes, Walruses and whalers. Have we learnt nothing from history?
Today, I met a man. He moved me to tears for the world. He understood me. I understood him.
In 73 years he is only the 4th man to have fundamentally moved me.
His name is Nikita AND I will meet him again.
- A collection of short stories -
Tony is a passionate writer as well as an active conservationist. He is currently working on a number of books and we are delighted to be able to share a few stories from them.