Opinion

EDITORIAL: Officer's made right call with cat

News of a cougar being destroyed Thursday is guaranteed to prompt outrage.

It’s human nature to be upset over the end of a majestic creature’s life.

But before our feelings get the best of us, consider the alternative.

Isn’t is better to read about a cougar being destroyed than a headline about a cougar attack?

Yes, these animals live here too, but they pose a risk to us, our offspring and our own animals.

When one of these great cats is lurking around residential neighbourhoods, conservation officers must make that tough call to protect the neighbourhood.

Some may argue that the cat should have been relocated. But along with the fact conservation  officers do not have the time or resources to do so, there is also the fact that the animal may continue to be a threat elsewhere.

It’s like the deer that was eating out of coolers in Coldstream this summer.

Once introduced to easy access of food, animals aren’t likely to go back to the wild where their dinner isn’t served up on a silver platter.

Relocation also poses the problem of putting one cat in another’s territory. The outcome there is generally the same – one less cougar.

So as disturbing as it may be to learn that a cougar, or deer, or bear has been destroyed, it’s a safety-first decision that we should respect.

And instead of forcing blame on conservation, look around your own backyard to see if you are actually a contributor to the situation. Wild animals can be easily lured to the area by honest mistakes such as: litter at local parks,  garbage cans full of smelly snacks, messy fruit trees and untended composts.

.

It’s human nature to be upset over the end of a majestic creature’s life.

But before our feelings get the best of us, consider the alternative.

Isn’t is better to read about a cougar being destroyed than a headline about a cougar attack?

Yes, these animals live here too, but they pose a risk to us, our offspring and our own animals.

When one of these great cats is lurking around residential neighbourhoods, conservation officers must make that tough call to protect the neighbourhood.

Some may argue that the cat should have been relocated. But along with the fact conservation  officers do not have the time or resources to do so, there is also the fact that the animal may continue to be a threat elsewhere.

It’s like the deer that was eating out of coolers in Coldstream this summer.

Once introduced to easy access of food, animals aren’t likely to go back to the wild where their dinner isn’t served up on a silver platter.

Relocation also poses the problem of putting one cat in another’s territory. The outcome there is generally the same – one less cougar.

So as disturbing as it may be to learn that a cougar, or deer, or bear has been destroyed, it’s a safety-first decision that we should respect.

And instead of forcing blame on conservation, look around your own backyard to see if you are actually a contributor to the situation. Wild animals can be easily lured to the area by honest mistakes such as: litter at local parks,  garbage cans full of smelly snacks, messy fruit trees and untended composts.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.