Wild animals, energy and stress

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Posted by Dick J on December 15, 2005 at 18:40:41:

In Reply to: For those who missed all the fun before, Angel Shark Riding video is back. posted by Max Bottomtime on December 14, 2005 at 20:57:34:

Whether you're in a place like Yellowstone National Park, or exploring a reef off Catalina Island, one thing that you don't see is overweight wild animals. Creatures in a natural ecosystem exist at the absolute limit of survival with respect to energy (stored calories) because of the fierce competition for energy sources (food). Any expenditure of energy - such as fleeing a human who wants to touch, grab, or simply chase the animal - needlessly draws down that already tenuous supply of stored energy. What's more, when an animal senses a threat and/or flees from a threat it places significant stress on the animal's entire physiological system, thus increasing its suceptability to disease or predation. So there is never any justification for harassing wildlife, be it for fun or whatever. Whether it's elk and and bison on land, or angel sharks and black sea bass underwater, harassment by humans diminishes an animal's chance of survival.

It's inexcusable that a video showing such blatant harassment is available on the SSA web site. It seems to give institutional approval for such behavior by supposedly responsible divers.

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