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Media Article # 529
Friday, May 4, 2007
[Canadian MP petitions gov to protect bigfoots]
Bigfoot an 'endangered species'
Thu, 03 May 2007
Bigfoot, the legendary hairy man-like beast said to roam the wildernesses of North America, is not shy, merely so rare it risks extinction and should be protected as an endangered species.
So says Canadian MP Mike Lake who has called for Bigfoot to be protected under Canada's species at risk act, alongside Whooping Cranes, Blue Whales, and Red Mulberry trees.
"The debate over their (Bigfoot's) existence is moot in the circumstance of their tenuous hold on merely existing," reads a petition presented by Lake to parliament in March and due to be discussed next week.
"Therefore, the petitioners request the House of Commons to establish immediate, comprehensive legislation to affect immediate protection of Bigfoot," says the petition signed by almost 500 of Lake's constituents in Edmonton, Alberta.
A similar appeal has been made to the US Congress.
Down through history, there have been numerous, if unsubstantiated sightings of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch in North American folklore.
The beast is said to inhabit remote forests, mainly in the US Pacific northwest and western Canada, and many believe it could be related to the equally mythical Yeti said to have found its home in Tibet and Nepal.
Folklore and hoaxes
While sometimes described as large, hairy bipedal hominoids, Bigfoots are considered by most experts to be a combination of folklore and hoaxes.
But the legend remains strong, and Bigfoot researcher Todd Standing, who was behind the petition, claims to have proof of its existence, and says he fears for its safety.
"When I get species protection for them nationwide, I will make my findings public and I will take this out of the realm of mythology. Bigfoot is real," Standing told Global National television news.
He said he has 12 seconds of video footage of Bigfoot roaming Canada's western Rocky Mountains included in a 30-minute documentary, but his detractors say it was staged with actors.
His supporters hail from Canada's westernmost provinces, but Bigfoot sightings have been reported across the country, which is 90 percent uninhabited.
There are currently 516 plant and animal species at risk in Canada, according to Environment Canada. Another 13 species are already extinct.
Oddly enough, the best coverage on this Canadian story, so far, has not been in Canada, but rather in Africa. The African News web site iAfrica.com published the most detailed version of the wire story put out by Agence France-Presse.
Here is some advice for handling the questions and upcoming debate:
Their question: Why should the Canadian government protect bigfoots if there is no body to prove their existence in the first place?
Your answer: There are hundreds of witnesses in Canada -- people who have seen these animals with their own eyes. It defies reason to suggest that all these people are lying.
Their question: To your knowledge has anyone shot one yet or have any remains been found?
Your answer: Apparently that has not happened yet, but it doesn't mean they should not be protected proactively.
The fact that a dead body of one has not been collected yet does not mean these animals do not exist. Logic would also suggest that if they exist, they are not very numerous, certainly not numerous enough to allow them to be a game species.
Their question: Why should they be protected if no one has been able to shoot one yet?
Endangered species status will protect them in various ways, not only from hunting.
Many hunters have seen these animals and chose not to shoot at them. This does not mean that everyone will always feel the same way. Some Canadians claim they may have shot one but the animal ran away wounded.
We would all want murder to be against the law in Canada even if a murder had never committed here before. Do we require a tragedy to occur first, in this country, before a law is adopted to prevent that type of tradegy?
Their question: What types of human activity or development do you believe need to be stopped or changed in order to protect their habitats?
Your answer: No one knows, yet. That is part of the problem. We do not know whether aspects of our behavior or industry might be affecting them in very detrimental ways. We should not assume that we are not affecting them at all, if they indeed share this land with us.
We should AT LEAST acknowledge their existence, and acknowledge that IF they are real, they MUST be very rare, and therefore it would not be right to kill ANY of them.
We can reliably assume that they are real based on the many credible sightings from our fellow citizens. If we are to stop relying on the collective observations of our fellow citizens, then we will not have a functioning law enforcement system, which depends on observations from the public. The same goes for all types of emergency services. The government manages emergency services and law enforcement. The culture of those services understands that it is always best to assume the truth in what is being reported by the public, especially when many people are reporting the same thing.
Their question: So do you believe leprechauns should be given endangered species status also?
Your answer: Large numbers of Canadians do not report seeing leprechauns in our forests, but they do report seeing bigfoots, and they have been reporting them for a long time now. It is an insult to those many rural people when their urban cousins try to tell them that they have not seen the things they have seen. It is possible that the city cousins are wrong about this one, and the country cousins are right.
The petition was not submitted as a joke. There are witnesses who can testify to what they saw. There are many of them, so we ask that the matter be taken seriously. If you think it is ridiculous then you simply do not understand what is going on.
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