Mada­gas­car’s peo­ple prob­lem

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Mada­gas­car’s for­est, lemurs dy­ing,” June 7

The sad story of the de­struc­tion of the unique wildlife of Mada­gas­car re­ported in The Times had one glar­ing omis­sion: It did not men­tion of the real cause of the de­struc­tion.

The hu­man pop­u­la­tion of Mada­gas­car has ex­ploded and con­tin­ues to grow at an un­sus­tain­able rate. In 1960 the pop­u­la­tion was 5 mil­lion; this year it has passed 25 mil­lion and con­tin­ues to grow at a rate of nearly 3% per year. In a coun­try where most of the peo­ple sur­vive on the nat­u­ral re­sources of the forests and sub­sis­tence agri­cul­ture, this is a for­mula guar­an­teed to lead to to­tal devastation.

Since the real cause of the prob­lem is not even ac­knowl­edged, I see no hope of sav­ing the lemurs, the for­est or the im­pov­er­ished peo­ple of Mada­gas­car. John La Grange Solana Beach

This is another heart­break­ing story about wildlife dy­ing so hu­mans can con­tinue to over­pop­u­late, abuse and dec­i­mate the planet.

Soon there may be no more lemurs; the same is true for ele­phants, lions, tigers and rhi­nos. They are slaugh­tered daily in their homes for the ben­e­fit of hu­mans, some of whom take pride in hang­ing their corpses on their walls.

Well-mean­ing crit­ics of zoos want all an­i­mals to live hap­pily in their nat­u­ral habi­tat. What habi­tat? Re­ally well-run zoos, also known as con­ser­va­tion cen­ters, may be the last hope for many species.

Want to learn about the lemurs that once lived in the wild? Visit the zoo. Pa­tri­cia LoVerme South Pasadena

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