6 Endangered Species That Aren’t Endangered Enough Part 2

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Aww, look at the cute kakapo! Sure, it’s a dumbass flightless bird, but it’s also known as the “owl parrot.” That’s like TWO of the best birds in one! Surely we don’t want to kill those off?

Of course not. But how about the worm eating its guts out?

Stringopotaenia psittacea is a tapeworm infesting kakapos in the wild. It even sounds like Latin spitting in disgust. As we battle to save the kakapo from extinction, we obviously keep conserved ones well-fed, healthy, and not filled with gut-munching intestinal parasites. In fact, we thought the stringybastard spittyshitea was already extinct. But the damn thing has been seen again in the wild. And now some human collaborators are saying we shouldn’t finish it off.

Does this thing get into human brains? Because that’s a less horrifying possibility than someone wanting to keep the bulging parrot-torturer around.

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Tapeworms have supporters now. The only way things could get worse than some recent elections.

These tapeworm collaborators argue that maintaining a parasite load in your intestines boosts your immune system by exposure. Presumably just like hitting someone with a car helps strengthen their bones and boosts their peripheral vision. We have technology now. We don’t live in the wild to toughen ourselves against the elements; we build houses to defend ourselves from the damn things. Likewise, if we’re going to use our godlike abilities to pluck cute parrots from extinction, we shouldn’t then infect them with a fair fraction of their own body mass in gut monsters.

This nightmare only has itself to blame. There are countless tapeworm species and potential hosts, but S. psittacea fussily overspecialized to just this one bird and would rather die out than eat more common food. In other words, it’s a goddamn panda without even the defense of being cute.

How We Finish Them Off:

After an array of extermination horrors, we’re delighted to announce the best move is now to help adopt adorable parrots, take them to the vet, and continually ask, “Who’s a pretty Polly? Who’s a pretty Polly? Not that nightmare hunger-tube we’re killing the fuck out of, that’s who!”

Find out why Physics Loves Knight Rider and enjoy the Starship Voyager’s wrong turnings.

Enjoy more appalling species in 6 Endangered Species That Aren’t Endangered Enough and So You’ve Killed The Last Member Of An Endangered Species.

Luke writes science humor at ZERO POINT COMEDY, has a mailing list, and responds to every single tweet.

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