An Icon of the American Wilderness is Alive in the Bronx
On the surprising research underway in Van Cortlandt Park and the American Museum of Natural History.
Lenora Todaro is an editor at Off Assignment. She writes about books, travel, wildlife, soccer, and politics. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, the Atlantic, Salon, Bookforum, the Village Voice, and elsewhere. A native New Yorker, she has always been drawn to wildlife from roaches to rhinos. She is a docent at the Prospect Park Zoo. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram
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Imagining the city rebuilt so that beavers can return is an exercise in humility.
This creature is a survivor. As long as it survives, our notion of the wild, of conditions indifferent to humanity in which other species thrive, survives too.
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Bees do not attack—just as trauma survivors do not attack, but rather defend. She will not sting you unless she believes the colony’s life depends on her defense. Because when she stings you, she dies.
Being left behind is not a disadvantage. It is an opportunity to grow and an opportunity to live life on my own terms.