“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26
Penguins are disappearing. Don’t worry – it’s not all of them that are disappearing. But the world’s largest colony of king penguins appears to be only 10% the size it was 50 years ago.
The colony, which lives on Île aux Cochons in the southern Indian Ocean, is quite difficult to count. Nevertheless, surveys over the years have shown that it has shrunk dramatically. Reasons given for the decimation include climate change and outbreaks of diseases such as avian cholera.
Penguins are among our favorite animals. Many of us, when we go to the zoo, will make our way quickly to see the penguins. We love to see the endearing, adorable way they walk and then marvel at their grace as they “fly” through the water. Some species of penguins have remarkable habits. One unsubstantiated urban myth about penguins in the Falkland Islands suggests that they watch the overflying planes of the Royal Air Force so intently that they eventually fall over backwards! One comedian complained about the Emperor Penguins, saying that they have the ability to make us feel complete failures as fathers.
Of course, not all penguins are dying out. We are referring to one colony of one species. But does it matter? The answer must be that, yes, we ought to have a concern. We are used to opposing climate change mythology and, therefore, sometimes go to the other extreme, forgetting that God gave us a stewardship to look after this world and protect it.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the stewardship that You gave the human race over creation. We pray for those involved in conservation, that You would raise up those whose work is guided fully by You. Amen.
Ref: CNRS. “Largest king penguin colony has shrunk nearly 90%.” ScienceDaily, 30 July 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180730120408.htm>. Image: CC BY-SA 3.0.
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