I was horrified to read the two articles related to recent encounters between humans and wildlife in the Aug. 30 edition of The Flume.
My horror is not related to the so-called attacks on humans, although I certainly feel terrible for the 71-year-old man and the young boy who suddenly found themselves in these separate incidents.
My thoughts are with them as they recover from their injuries. But how can anyone be surprised that, as we expand and encroach upon what has clearly been the territory of our natural wildlife, we find ourselves coming into contact with them?
My horror came from the aftermath of these two incidents, and this policy of the Colorado Department of Wildlife to indiscriminately kill nearby wildlife and then use DNA to find out if it was the animal involved in the attack.
That is barbaric and wrong, and as a taxpayer in Colorado and a homeowner in Park County, I do not believe that we should support, financially or otherwise, that type of behavior. This is not the wild west of the past, and we would never tolerate the act of assuming a human was guilty (much less killing them) before performing an analysis (with humans - a trial) and having some type of proof.
What gives them the right to kill an animal before knowing if that animal was involved in the incident, or even an aggressive animal to begin with?
I encourage all homeowners and taxpayers in Park County to stand up on behalf of our beautiful and amazing wildlife and demand that wild animals not be euthanized unless it is proven that they have been involved in an encounter with humans in which they were aggressive and caused injury.
At the same time, I remind everyone that we are the ones that are shrinking theit habitats, so please remember to be observant, move slowly, act quietly, and maintain a level of respect to the wildlife that make Park County such a wonderful place to enjoy.
That is the best way of all to avoid a sudden conflict with the animals who also call this area their home.