Paraffin

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A protected paraffin in its natural habitat. Note the ankle bracelets, which use sophisticated electronics to monitor the bird.

The paraffin is an endangered bird that makes its habitat south of the Antarctic Circle and in the Antarctic Ocean. Its breast feathers are a light purple, but it also has areas that are white (the face and the inside feathers of the tail), and the majority of the bird is black. There was once a subspecies of paraffin that had turquoise feathers, but it is believed to be extinct.

[edit] The Plight of the Paraffin

The paraffin has been hunted almost to extinction because it produces a very useful wax inside its beak. Due to the many uses of its wax (in applications like Edam cheese making and various pharmaceuticals), the paraffin is highly sought after. Since there has been so much poaching, a large amount of paraffins are obtainable in Black Markets in many third-world countries. In some of these undeveloped countries, child labor is used to scrape paraffin wax from the beaks of the birds, and to apply the hazardous chemicals used to refine it.

In Amerika, paraffin steak is a delicacy that only the most wealthy can afford. Paraffins are also used to make paraffin sushi in some countries.

[edit] Attempts at Domestication

The first attempt at a commercial paraffin farm/refinery was just outside New Bjork City in 1944, due to its similar climate to the paraffins' natural home. Regular hunting expeditions to the Antarctic Circle yielded whole flocks of the defenseless bird. However, due to the paraffin's extreme dislike of captivity, most of the birds escaped soon after being brought back to the farm. Even though it is estimated that the number of paraffins captured by the New Bjork City Paraffin Refinery was in the tens of thousands, the birds escaped almost as fast as they could catch them. Due to this unnatural relocation and escape, there is now a small paraffin colony near the North Pole.

Further attempts at domestication were made later in the 1940s and in the 1950s, but all ended in failure.

[edit] Conservation Efforts

Since attempts at establishing paraffin farms have thus far ended in failure, most paraffins are simply hunted and killed in their natural habitat. Paraffin populations worldwide dropped to dangerous levels in the 1950s. In the 1960s, activists lobbied Congress to create protected areas off limits to everyone but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This lobbying led to the creation of the Paraffin Protection Act of 1972. At this time, the entirety of Antarctica is off limits to paraffin hunters. Elsewhere in the world, paraffins can still be hunted with no limits or regulations.

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