The question of one versus two species of African elephants isn't about settling an arcane DNA argument; it's about life or death for these majestic, extraordinary creatures.
Within the macho-melodrama tropes of the superhero genre, it's fair to say 'Watchmen' stands out for its rich entertainment, its darkness, and its lurid pleasures. Its vividly drawn panels, moody colors and lush imagery make its popularity well-deserved, if disproportionate.
I worry about the very pernicious way we elevate and separate ourselves from other beasts, the way we rationalize our comfort and ease, our worship of the self, as healthy. It's enticing, but with a terrible taint of evil.
In October 2014, for the first time in almost three-quarters of a century, a gray wolf was seen loping along the forested North Rim of the Grand Canyon, in Arizona. She had walked hundreds of miles, probably from Wyoming or Idaho.
I've seen a few wild grizzly bears, mostly in Alaska and British Columbia, and always from a distance. But each grizzly I've caught sight of was as fearsome and sublime as the last. You never get used to their raw power and massive bodies, or the mysterious intelligence in their dark, close-set eyes.