LETTER: Shooting cougars not the answer

Keep a closer eye on your dogs and cats

Re: “Hunting Defended” in the Friday, Jan. 5, edition of Vernon Morning Star.

Laureen Harper succinctly summed up Mr. Eckland’s actions: “What a creep. Chasing a cougar with dogs until they are exhausted then shooting a scared, cornered and tired animal.”

Eckland has killed a magnificent rare mammal that we are very fortunate to have inhabiting our wilderness. From the picture it looks like this cat is a very large mature and healthy male. A “tom” of this size will breed annually with three to five females within its 100-square-km range. Now, with no thanks to Mr. Eckland, this will not happen. My hope is the cougar stir fry he boasts about gives him stomach cramps.

It is very rare to see a cougar in its natural habitat in our Okanagan area. They are elusive and solitary mammals. If one is fortunate enough to have a glimpse, it will create excitement and a buzz that is not soon forgotten.

In reference to one of Mr. Trumbley’s comments:

“…they’re not so big and beautiful when they’re absolutely decimating your ungulate population and coming into neighbours and eating your dog.”

Nobody wants to lose their beloved dog or cat. If there are cougar sightings in your area, keep a close watch on your pets to prevent this from happening.

The ungulate population is not being decimated by cougars. They are carnivores and predators. A lot like us. The ungulate population is also affected by bears, wolves, coyotes, hunters, poachers, highways, trains, disease, loss of habitat and extreme winters. Cougars also prey on rabbits, squirrels, mice, groundhogs, raccoons, porcupines, gophers and voles.

My suggestion for Mr. Trumbley and Mr. Eckland: Instead of killing mammals around the world, take people out on photo tours. To see these magnificent mammals up close in their natural environment would be a lifetime thrill for many people and our future generations.

Michael Sigalet

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