When I initially saw the picture in the L.A. Times of Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer squatting behind four baboons as he beamed delightedly at the camera, I thought how wonderful- this man must be a baboon whisperer. An entire family of baboons yet, with a mamma, papa and their offspring, one of whom appeared to be an infant, posing with complete passivity in front of their new Homo Sapien friend. Then I read the story.
Suddenly the image became grotesque and obscene. The passive baboons were posed by Fischer post mortem. He had killed them. Not out of self defense, or for food, but basically, because he could. An entire family of feeling, thinking primates, who are from the same genetic family tree as we, and feel the same emotions as we do. What horror they must have felt the moments before their slaughter. The Times quoted Fischer as saying, “I didn’t do anything illegal. I didn’t do anything unethical. I didn’t do anything immoral.” What bent moral code would allow his behavior?
The baboons were not his trophies- they were his victims. No euphemisms or rationalizations will change that. What he did was murder-plain and simple. I look, but I must close my eyes; the horror- far easier to watch the void.

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