Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Rescued kitten victim of Oregon’s Cougar Management Plan

Mountain Lion Foundation Action Alert
December 4, 2006

A compassionate sheriff in Wheeler County, Oregon, rescued an orphaned cougar kitten wondering aimlessly in the snow on Friday. Having been spared a slow death by starvation, dehydration, or freezing, the 12-pound kitten was named “Lucky”.

Ironically this rescue is when the clock began ticking loudly on whether Lucky would live or die. In accordance with Oregon’s Cougar Management Plan, Michele Shireman of the Oregon Zoo had 48 hours to find an AZA accredited facility to take Lucky. Michele worked tirelessly, making calls to facilities around the country – no AZA accredited facility with space could be found over the weekend. The Wildcat Sanctuary, an ASA and TAOS accredited facility in Minnesota, offered to provide Lucky a beautiful home, but ODFW refused as this did not meet the guidelines of the Cougar Management Plan.
On Sunday, Portland’s KATU morning news alerted Oregonians of Lucky’s plight and the looming noon deadline for finding him a home. Every half hour a plea went out to viewers for their help. And Oregonians hit the phones, calling anyone they thought could do something to save this kitten. The fact was that all ODFW had to do was bend their rules and allow Lucky to go The Wildcat Sanctuary or provide him with a “stay of execution” until another suitable home could be found when offices opened on Monday. But ODFW was not answering their phone or returning any calls.

The noon hour passed with no one knowing for sure the fate of little Lucky. But one thing was sure, we would not allow Lucky’s plight to be in vain. He put a face that could not be forgotten on Oregon’s completely flawed Cougar Management Plan.

Watch KATU news video: http://www.katu.com/news/4813601.html

Finally at noon on Monday ODFW responded to the outcry, telling KATU newsroom that Lucky had actually been put to death on Saturday. They completely ignored their own 48-hour policy and put Michelle Shireman and hundreds of concerned citizens through hours of needless agony over finding a home for this kitten.

Don’t let Lucky die in vain.

Lucky and all America’s cougars living in Oregon need your voice now. Write or call Governor Ted Kulongoski and ODFW Wildlife Division Administrator Ron Anglin, tell them in your own words why you believe this cougar kitten and all the cougars slated for killing over the next five years should not die. Ask them to respond to your letter, to tell you why they feel differently.

Governor Ted Kulongoski
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4047
Phone: 503-378-4582

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
3406 Cherry Avenue, N.E.
SAlem, Oregon 97303
Phone 503-947-6000 or 800-720-6339

It is important that they receive as many letters opposing this proposal as possible. Please forward this email to your friends, family, and co-workers. Let's all speak up to save America's lion in our national wilderness areas.

For the lions,

Karen Cotton, Director of Outreach
Mountain Lion Foundation

email: outreach@mountainlion.org
fax: 916-442-2871
web: http://www.mountainlion.org


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