We sometimes hear about things happening to animals that just don’t feel right. As individuals, we may feel as if there is nothing we can do about it, but if enough people are upset by what is happening, then change may be on the horizon.
There is no doubt that hunting drives the economy in many parts of the world. That is true in some parts of Colorado, like where mule deer hunting is popular.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife had a plan to open hunting for bears and mountain lions in the upper Arkansas River area and the Piceance Basin. This was being funded by The US Fish And Wildlife Service, with the goal of increasing how many mule deer were available to be hunted.
As it turns out, the majority of the public was not in favor of the decision, and it ended up in the US District Court of Colorado. They decided that the risk to the population of both black bears and mountain lions was not worth the increase in the mule deer population. They felt that it was a shortsighted decision.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
According to the Humane Society of the United States, a staff attorney, Laura Smythe, said that it is a cruel thing to persecute bears and mountain lions. Like many animals, they are social beings who raise their young for many years. She also spoke about how “environmentally destructive” the plan was.
She went on to talk about how the orphaned cubs would likely die from dehydration, starvation, predators, or exposure after their parents were killed. There are also likely to be conflicts happening with humans, livestock, and pets when trophy hunting takes place. She referred to it as being a “completely unnecessary state-sponsored slaughter” and said the federal government should not be funding it.
Some of the plans for the slaughter moved forward because they were already concluded before the court order happened. In the area of the Upper Arkansas River, however, the slaughter was stopped for five years.
The original plan would have seen as much as 50% of the mountain lion population killed over a nine-year period. Taxpayers would be footing the bill for the cull, which would include 234 mountain lions at a cost of some $4 million.
According to the Humane Society, a wildlife program director at WildEarth Guardian, Lindsay Larris, spoke about how happy the organization was that the slaughter was stopped. They were concerned about the issues that would occur with both the environment and the native wildlife.
She sums things up nicely, saying: “These studies threatened local ecosystems by the extermination of entire populations of bears and lions in these regions, a fact that the Service completely ignored. We hope this ruling ensures that the Service will carefully consider all funding requests for wildlife ‘studies’ long into the future.”Whizzco