Poll: Majority of Endangered Species Not Afraid of Dying

By E.O. Willy

The vast majority of critically endangered species in America and around the world, though unhappy with the prospect of extinction, are not afraid of dying, according to a survey conducted by the nonpartisan Pugh Research Center.

The Pugh Poll found that while most animals are bitterly disappointed in people for a failure of earthly stewardship that has brought so many species to the brink of extinction, the animals — in their actual outlook toward death — remain serene and stoical.

For example, a polar bear who was surveyed — a single mother currently living in an ice shelter with her two cubs — expressed concern for her children’s future but cared nothing about her own fate.

“Where will the kids live? That’s all I think about,” she said. “The ice up here, this vast and snowy and frozen land — this is our habitat. I know people don’t like to hear about it, about how their fossil-fueled way of life is destroying our home, literally melting it away, but that’s what’s happening.”

Another respondent, an ivory-billed woodpecker from Florida, described a lonely and solitary existence.

“I purposely chose not to take a mate,” she said, using her beak to flick a tear away, “because a loving relationship would surely have led to a batch of little woodpeckers; and I knew there would be no future for them. Our habitat…our habitat is gone, utterly ruined. Logging and commercial development have taken everything from us. As for myself, I have no worries, no fears of life or of death; the living, loving Soul of Nature will take me in when the time is right.”

The threat of extinction, though it led an ivory-billed woodpecker to opt for a quiet life of celibacy, drove an Atlantic bluefin tuna into a lifestyle of drugs and promiscuity.

“My family and friends are all gone,” the weary and disheveled bluefin said. “We’ve been overfished to the point of…not extinction, I guess, because I’m still here and a few others, but we’re in bad shape, lost and wasted and demoralized. And without hope. At this point and in this condition, the thought of death is not unpleasant.”