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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Keepers of the Earth

I had the privilege this week of spending time with a collection of some of this world's most beautiful creatures. I spent an enthralling afternoon with Brian Werner and his wife, Terri of Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge. Tiger Creek is a tribute to the vision and mule-headedness of a man who believes deep in his soul that God has called him to a sacred task.

Tiger Creek is home to more than 36 tigers, lions, cougars and other big cats, rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment. Brian's team collects tigers from all over the nation from private owners who find the task of caring for one of these beautiful creatures is too much.
These amazing cats chuffed a raspy how-do-you-do to Brian whenever they caught sight of him. As the day ended, they began roaring at each other, one after another bursting out in a sharp basso profundo burst of sound that must have had every deer, javelina hog, possum and racoon in the surrounding woods diving for cover. It was an amazing sound.
It reminded me of what man was put here for in the first place. We have two things we were supposed to do on the Earth. First, we were put in charge of keeping up the gardens. Then, Adam had to name the animals and I expect since we named them we were expected to take care of them.

Sadly, like children with their pets, we have proved irresponsible in that duty. Of 8 subspecies of tigers at the beginning of the last century we're down to 3. Scientists think two varieties have disappeared within the last few years.

I agree with Brian. We do have a sacred duty from God to take care of the animals, to dress the garden and clean up our messes. Some on the far right believe you can exploit willy nilly and it's okay since we're the big kahuna species on Earth. On the far left, many believe we shouldn't interfere with nature at all and withdraw to a few human reservations and let nature go "natural".

I don't buy either option. I think God expects us to keep and tend the Earth. I think we should intervene, especially when it is our fault for the mess nature is in. I think we ought to try and fix it if we can.

What a lovely thing to do for your life's work. I envy Brian and Terri.
Just one man's opinion.


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