As always, I am ignoring the big picture today and focusing on shit:
BANGKOK, Thailand – A count of elephant dung revealed a surprisingly large endangered elephant population — more than 600 — in Malaysia's biggest national park, researchers said Thursday.
The number of endangered Asian elephants had always been a mystery as researchers tried to visually count every one of the frequently shifting crowd in the dense jungle.
But the new method of counting dung piles came up with an estimate of 631 animals living in Taman Negara National Park, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society and Malaysia Department of Wildlife and National Parks said.
Now, this is good news, if it's true. I love elephants and am glad to know that they are livin' large in Malaysia.
But, I am concerned about this new dung counting method of population assessment:
How do they know that each pile of dung is from a different elephant? What if one elephant just had an upset stomach (say he drank too many margaritas) and they counted his dung piles as the work of three elephants?
I mean, not to get too graphic, but...I suspect there have been times where a VJDutton dung count would be way off, if this method was employed. Dung tabulators would assume there were at least 5 VJDuttons roaming around Manhattan.
Isn't freedom of the press great? I mean, aren't you glad you live in a country where this blog isn't censored? Wouldn't it be a travesty if you hadn't read this blog today?