Best Job on the Planet
A lot has happened in the fifteen years since my wife and I visited the Galapagos Islands-- the last Pinta turtle, Lonesome George mated with another species of tortoise (but the eggs were not viable) and he died soon after, there has been political unrest-- fishermen, angry about a ban on catching sea cucumbers, protested against environmental regulations (tortoises were taken captive and some were killed, and the fishermen occupied the Charles Darwin Research Center) and-- on a positive note-- the vast majority of goats have been eradicated from Isabela and several other islands . . . the goats-- who came with the first sailors to visit the islands, five hundred years ago, were slowly razing the forests and threatening much of the native wildlife, including the tortoises, and so they had to be killed; this story is detailed (among other recent developments in the Galapagos) in a fantastic Radiolab podcast . . . and so the question is, of ocurse: how do you kill 150,000 goats? and the answer is awesome . . . you shoot them from a helicopter, and this has to be the greatest job on earth . . . you get to fly around in a helicopter over one of the most scenic places on earth, chasing goats over volcanic terrain, and shooting them video game style and leaving them to rot (so as not to rob the island of nutrients) and so though I can't shoot a rifle, and though I am prone to motion sickness (I can't even read in the car) I am preparing my resume for submission . . . watch the video and you'll want to sign up too.