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"A Bad Earthquake"

“A bad earthquake at once destroys the oldest associations: the world, the very emblem of all that is solid, has moved beneath our feet like a crust over a fluid; one second of time has conveyed to the mind a strange idea of insecurity, which hours of reflection would never have created.” So wrote Charles Darwin on February 20, 1835, of the great Concepcion earthquake he experienced during the voyage of the Beagle. Resting in a wooded area near the shore, Darwin was unharmed but nonetheless greatly affected by what he saw in the nearby town of Valdivia: “There,” he wrote, “the scene was more awful.” Just a few weeks before, on an island off the coast, Darwin had come upon a curious tame fox sitting on the rocks, “so intently absorbed” in watching the ship’s officers surveying the coast, “that I was able, by quietly walking up behind, to knock him on the head with my geological hammer.” That unfortunate creature became the first collected specimen of his species and was put on display in the museum of the Zoological Society. Today, this Endangered All-Star—which prefers the old growth of the temperate rainforest—is running out of room and time. With a population of around 250, the majority of which lives on Chiloé Island, the species is critically endangered by feral dogs (which may spread zoonotic disease and attack the fox directly) and poaching. The Darwin’s Fox Research and Conservation Project is dedicated to addressing these threats and to securing larger and better-managed protected areas. Here are several ways to contribute to earthquake relief efforts in Chile: * Text the word “Chile” to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross * Donate online to the American Red Cross * Donate online to AmeriCares
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