Last week, the city of Port Townsend, Washington, acknowledged the endangered southern resident orcas who call the region home have rights.

“The rights of the southern resident orcas include, but are not limited to, the right to life, autonomy, culture, free and safe passage, adequate food supply from naturally occurring sources, and freedom from conditions causing physical, emotional or mental harm, including a habitat degraded by noise, pollution and contamination,” Mayor David J. Faber said during the council meeting, reading from a nonbinding proclamation.

While this is mainly ceremonial, we are glad for the conversations that have sprung up about how people view and treat wildlife in the context of the rights we humans have. We hope this will be the start of better management and protections for all wildlife facing population declines due to human-generated health and habitat issues.

Read more at The Seattle Times