Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oregon Fish & Wildlife afraid of Corvallis cougar

ODFW is afraid of this cougar

Posted by Kyle Odegard April 27, 2009

Some people have suggested that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is using the young Corvallis cougar as propaganda, that the agency is spreading fear and hatred toward mountain lion-kind, all in an attempt to annihilate the big cats.

Don’t buy that argument. It’s pure bunk.

Here’s the real scoop: Yes, ODFW probably hates and is afraid of “Wilson,” the Corvallis cougar, but only because this furry dude has placed it in a no-win situation during a budget year when cash is shorter than I am.

As a state agency, ODFW has to follow the rules and laws of Oregon. The rules are pretty clear here — and clearly understood — regarding the cougar. If the animal is trapped, and the agency can’t find a zoo or AZA accredited facility to take the cougar, he’s got an appointment with the grim reaper.

(I’m betting there are plenty of people in ODFW secretly hoping some AZA facility can be found.)

Nancy Taylor, in an initial interview, asked me not to mention that the cougar would be killed. Or euthanized. Or die or however you want to put it.

You see, the cougar’s death equals bad publicity. Huge bad PR.

Just the possibility of this probably means Taylor has received stacks and stacks of hate mail. I feel for her. Really, I do. Because she’s just doing her job.

ODFW doesn’t have some sort of evil genius plan regarding the cougar. It’s only following the guidelines set out for it. ODFW is acting this way because it’s ODFW.

And if you don’t like the rules, you need to call your legislator.

http://www.gazettetimes.com/gtblogs/kyle_odegard/?p=211

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Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org

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