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C.A.S.H. Letters to the Editor > 2004

C.A.S.H. Letters

METRO PARKS DEER SLAUGHTER

3/3/04

Dear Mayor Plusquellic:

We join with SHARK, and concerned people in Akron and all over the country, in urging you to immediately terminate the Metro Parks deer slaughter.

While we hope that you will stop the deer slaughter because stopping it is the scientifically and ethically correct thing to do, the negative and widespread publicity that it will continue to generate against the city of Akron should convince you that the slaughter will be a major public relations nightmare for you.

The public outrage will not quickly die down, as you may assume, and as New Jersey Governor James McGreevey naively assumed, after he refused to stop a massively unpopular bear hunt last year. It was the biggest mistake of his career, as the public anger and distrust of his administration has continued to follow him.

He acknowledged that he has received more anti-bear hunt communications from constituents than for any other policy issue. The negative publicity, as with the Akron deer slaughter, was not geographically confined - people all over the country were outraged.

Hunting, whether by sharp shooters, such as the publicly loathed animal killing business "White Buffalo," or by sport hunters, is never a solution to reducing deer numbers. Hunting, in fact, exacerbates the real or perceived problem, as it acts to increase deer numbers.

When left unmolested by humans, deer regulate their own numbers, in balance with available resources. Does, for instance, will absorb their embryos when available resources are insufficient. When hunting is introduced, a process known to wildlife biologists as compensatory rebound, takes affect: the decrease in numbers, after the hunt, spurs does to increase their reproduction (larger litters and reproducing at a younger age), as there are now less deer competing for resources. In addition, the void created by hunting, in one area, will soon be filled by deer migrating from adjacent areas.

The hunting will become an ongoing, yearly bloodbath, as the population will continue to increase, DUE TO HUNTING. Political expediency, rather than sound science and humane decision making, will call for more killing.

Mayor Plusquellic, if those who decided to go forward with this hunt are not ashamed of their decision, why have they attempted to prevent the media from seeing footage of what tax payers are unwittingly and unwillingly paying for?

Despite attempts to remove the cameras documenting the massive suffering of the deer, at the hands of White Buffalo, SHARK has taped the slaughter and the media has responded.

Akron has an art museum, symphony, ballet, and theatre, along with other varied cultural, sports, and nature oriented tourist draws, but these will be eclipsed, in the public's view of Akron, by SHARK's footage of the suffering of the deer.

SHARK has documented that White Buffalo gunned deer down at sites baited with corn and apples. Animals who were shot, but not immediately killed, were left to struggle on the ground, before having plastic bags tied around their heads. In at least one case, a still struggling deer was dragged by his or her head, from view of the camera.

SHARK also documented that the deer were in good health (before White Buffalo savagely injured and killed them) and are not malnourished, and that the parks appear to be in good shape environmentally. They found claims of damage to the ecosystem of the parks unfounded.

As you know, SHARK, with the support of the humane community and concerned people, will ask for an investigation into the treatment of the deer, and will press for criminal charges where appropriate. Instead of taking a defensive, untenable stand against what is irrefutable, at the upcoming press conference, why not call off this mistake of a deer slaughter and institute non-lethal methods of dealing with human/wildlife conflicts? Not only the deer will win; Akron's image will, too, and you will be a hero.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on effective, humane alternatives to hunting.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Regards,

Susan Gordon, Representative
Wildlife Watch

cc: Akron City Council


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