I am glad we finally have an acting secretary for fish, wildlife and parks who understands the threat posed by so-called endangered species. Susan Combs, formerly comptroller of Texas, described additions to the endangered species list as "incoming Scud missiles" and has long waged an active campaign against the insidious golden-cheeked warbler. I could not be more delighted that she is Ryan Zinke's selection.
She sees what far too many environmental advocates do not: that these are all creatures who would devour us if they had their way. Why should we do them the courtesy of preserving their habitats, even going so far as to reteach the panda how to reproduce? Pandas would not do so for us. Combs's personal white whale (not the blue whale, although that is also an endangered specie), the aforementioned warbler, cannot physically harm us, as it is too small and too busy piping a lovely song into the ambient air, but that does not mean that it would not TURN ON US if it had the opportunity. And who among us has not been personally victimized by the Houston toad?
Considering that Combs managed to object to almost every species proposed to be added to the protected list while she was in Texas, I have taken the liberty of guessing her objections to some of the species currently on there:
The Amur leopard? This is a deadly killing machine with sharp teeth and patterns intended to help it VANISH from sight, only to strike when we least expect it. We cannot rest comfortably until we are certain that none of these are lurking in the underbrush.
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The black rhino? Say what you will about human beings, but we are not IMMENSE, ARMORED MACHINES with pointed horns. At least, I'm not. These are also, presumably, responsible for rhino viruses. Do not Google this; let the allegation stand.
The Cross River gorilla? I would barely wish to save a river gorilla, let alone a river gorilla who is already, for some reason, cross.
The hawksbill turtle? Make up your mind, nature, and design your creatures accordingly. This, frankly, sounds like a genetic mix-up that ought to be escorted quietly into the afterlife.
The tiger? An orange monster in unflattering horizontal stripes that is capable of devouring your body BEFORE you have died, unlike ordinary house cats, which usually are polite enough to wait until after your demise? Begone.
The Sumatran elephant? Enormous gray monster with a hose for a face and two large valuable pieces of ivory you AREN'T ALLOWED (?!?) to take, for some reason? Get rid of it.
The Sumatran rhino? ANOTHER ONE. We can agree, I think, that we do not need so much rhino redundancy.
The blue whale? I recently read an article saying that bowhead whale mating songs are "as complex as jazz," so if "La La Land" is accurate, these whales would be absolutely EXHAUSTING to date. The blue whale is even less musically gifted, and we should not be sorry to see it go.
Bluefin tuna? Sounds tasty.
The fin whale? A whale with a noticeable fin might be a shark, and you won't convince me otherwise. Better safe than sorry.
The Galápagos penguin? It is this penguin's own fault for having such a specific habitat.
The green turtle? All turtles are basically green. I don't understand how one of them gets to be the "green turtle" and declare itself endangered. I'm calling poppycock on this.
Hector's dolphin? I don't see why we have to protect this dolphin, if it is Hector's.
The humphead wrasse? Humpheads have no place in a civilized workforce.
The Indus river dolphin? Dolphins are capable of sexual pleasure, and I don't know for a fact that this makes Mike Pence uncomfortable, but better safe than sorry.
The North Atlantic right whale? If we get rid of the right whales, soon there will be no whales left, and I think this is a balance that would be good to strike.
The red panda? This is a glorified raccoon, and we know what raccoons are capable of.
The sea lion? This is made up. Lions live on the land.
The Sei whale? Now you have misspelled "sea." This should not be on the list and is redundant.
As long as these creatures exist in the wild, fledgling mines and oil wells cannot thrive, and the rare flat-footed businessman cannot dump waste into rivers. This cannot be tolerated. We are the ones who need protection, not vice versa.
Alexandra Petri is a columnist for The Washington Post.