Unicorn Protection
Unicorns will continue to haunt our dreams and those of our children, who will not forgive us if we let such beauty disappear from the earth. Many people deny that unicorns ever existed because their fossil remains haven't been found yet. Other people say that either they refused to get on the ark prior to the flood
and had been swept away, or that because of their long horns there simply had not been sufficient space on the ark to accommodate them. Still others thought the animals may have been too wild to be willing to enter the ark or had been thrown overboard because Noah considered them too noisy and intractable. A few simply believed that they had become extinct as a result of over hunting by poachers in more recent times.
Whatever the reasons, by the eighteenth century the European unicorn was clearly an endangered species, but African explorers were beginning to bring back stories of unicorns from that continent. Even as late as the mid 1800s such accounts renewed hopes that, even if extinct in Europe, plenty of the creatures were still to be found in Africa. Yet these hopes were to prove false,
for the unicorns of Africa were probably only onyxes or perhaps even karkadanns, which may have once ranged to the highlands of Ethiopia. It may be that unicorns are on the verge of extinction, because of our unwillingness to leave enough wilderness and opportunities for personal
freedom as are necessary for such an innocent and solitary animal to survive. Unicorns are not protected from exploitation by those who capture them for exhibition in carnivals and circuses or cut off their magical horns for personal profit.
Most people are woefully ignorant of the importance of both dragons and unicorns in maintaining stable worldwide ecosystems, and of the values inherent in protecting the faunal diversity represented by dragons and unicorns.It is now clear, of course, that the European unicorn has disappeared from nearly all of its favorite haunts in central Europe. The few remaining animals have retreated into the most remote valleys of the Alps and to the forest wildernesses of northern Norway, Sweden, and a large but empty part of Siberia, where they are scarcely ever seen. Pollution of most European rivers and streams has made much of their original range unfit for them, and removal of the forests has left them without the protection they need for survival and reproduction. Hunting has further thinned their ranks, even though they are now protected in all. European countries, and a substantial fine is levied on anyone found in possession of a unicorn pelt or horn. This has not been sufficient as there is no world wide moratorium on hunting and many poachers are willing to risk the fines for the high rewards that can be realized from the sale of a unicorn horn to collectors of oddities.
If unicorns are to provide a lesson in human terms, we need only look to the fate of the karkadann. This perverse unicorn, preoccupied with fighting and dominance over its fellow creatures, has apparently come to a fitting
end and has forever returned to the dusts of the deserts from whence it sprang. The sands of Arabia no longer bear the powerful hooves of the
karkadann, and the gentle creatures of the desert no longer tremble at its call. The bones of the last karkadann lie beneath the desert sands, in mute testimony to the futility of seeking absolute power. Should the last of the gentle unicorns also perish?
Unicorns are very illusive and hard to hunt or capture due to their communi- cation and warning system which is effective even over long distances.
Whether unicorns have acute hearing or whether they have some sort of telepathy has not been determined. Although unicorns are solitary creatures, both adult and young unicorns have a distress call, which brings other unicorns to assist their fellows.
Unicorns have an "all clear" call to inform others of the departure of any source of danger, especially if there has been a sneeze call alarm. Unicorns also use their tails to communicate information In combination with fully raised ears, a lifted tail signals danger, and a side to side flicking of the tail indicates pleasure or contentment. During winter, unicorns move into thicker
forests, where the snow does not lie as deeply and where they can reach grasses by digging down into the snow with their hooves or horns. At this time of the year they must be very alert to predators like wolves, which can run over 50 ft snow easily
and quickly overtake a fleeing unicorn. However, unless it is
badly outnumbered, a unicorn is able to keep wolves at bay with its sharp horn
and hoofs. It has also been known to defeat renegade dragons, but this is very dangerous as dragons are very intelligent and strong and some have not only natural abilities, such as fire breathing, but also skills in magic. Dragons sometimes hunt in pairs, so often a wounded and tired unicorn will fall easy prey to a second dragon who is hunting in the vincinity nearby.
People in many parts of the world have taken up dragon and unicorn spotting for a hobby. It is recommended that photographic evidence be obtained whenever possible (However, one should never harass unicorns in order to
obtain a photograph, and revealing the exact location of any unicorn is not
considered necessary for certification of a bona fide sighting.) Photographs of unicorn tracks, preferably with a tape measure or ruler included in the photo are also regarded as useful evidence. When intensively studying or photo- graphing the European fire breathing dragon, one might consider wearing an asbestos suit and carrying a pocket fire extinguisher.
Finally, dragon and unicorn lovers may want to consider joining SPODARC, the Society [for] Protection of Dragons and Related Creatures.
This is an international organization, open to all humans and other intelligent beings, regardless of age, sex, race, religion, or citizenship; membership is free and for life. The only requirements are a belief in the sanctity of life and a willingness to accept the right of unconventional but harmless life forms to exist without persecution or exploitation. SPODARC is also devoted to the preservation of enough wild places on this earth to support indefinitely a viable population of unicorns and
other wildlife. However, the organization is currently under investigation as a possible subversive threat to the U.S., and thus the address of its headquarters cannot be revealed at this time.