“Yes, it’s a little concerning, I’m not going to lie,” said Horatio Humpback, an imposing, barnacle-encrusted mammal who likes krill, Gulf Streams, and politicians who tell it like it is, in response to being asked for his thoughts on the recently proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act.
“But President Trump is a great leader, a great businessman, a really great guy, and just a real everywhale. That’s why I voted for him. And I trust that he would never do anything to endanger me and my family. You know, like we were before the Endangered Species Act.”
As the Trump administration sets its sights on stripping the existing regulations of language that puts conservation considerations ahead of economic factors, and removes protections from threatened species, support for the president remains surprisingly staunch amongst a number of animals that are likely to be adversely impacted by the changes.
“America,” said Buddy, a bald eagle in Rockport, WA. “America, America, America.”
Asked if that means he supports the Trump administration’s move to defang legislation that has been instrumental in the recovery of his species from near-extinction, Buddy cocks his head, narrows his eyes, and threateningly repeats, “America.”
A similar-in-sentiment, though wordier, response was gained from a grizzly bear named Gretchen, after a hell of a chase that ended with a visiting reporter up a handy tree.
“Get the hell off my mountain,” she said, circling the base of a handy Douglas fir. “You fake news media hacks have got a lot of nerve coming around here interviewing animals about legislation impacting animals. President Trump knows what he’s doing, and is a gift from the Great Bear in the sky. He’s bringing berries back, and is making the system eco again, and you need to start reporting on that. Or I’ll feed you to my young.”
With stiff resistance to the proposed changes expected in the coming weeks, some political observers are wondering if this will finally be the tipping point for Trump supporters in the endangered and threatened species communities.
“We’ll be watching, no doubt about it,” says Horatio, preparing to dive as he sees a sight-seeing boat appear on the horizon. “But, for now, I’m willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt.”
Asked if he regrets voting for Trump, and in retrospect wishes he’d cast his ballot for Hillary Clinton – who is known to have repeatedly touted conservation efforts throughout her political career – the whale snorts loudly.
“Oh hell no. What. You think I’m just going to forget about her emails?”