Here are a letter to the editors of local newspapers and an open records request to Fish & Wildlife in response to its officers’ recent killing of a mountain lion in Bourbon County, Kentucky. I encourage others to make contacts on this issue as well:
Letter to the editor-
“I protect all the wildlife, the fish, the turkey, and deer
So one day when I’m gone, there’ll still be plenty here.”
The above is an excerpt from a moving poem published on Ky Fish & Wildlife’s website. How sad that this thought was not exemplified by the Fish & Wildlife officers who shot and killed a mountain lion in Bourbon County this week.
Fish & Wildlife was contacted about a big cat spotted in a tree. Instead of killing the animal and then posing with its dead body like big game hunters on safari, the officers should have tranquilized and relocated it to a refuge, such as the non-profit Wolf Run in Jessamine Co. or even the state’s own Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort.
Hopefully, due to the outcry surrounding this situation, Fish & Wildlife will use some of the money it collects from hunting and fishing fees to purchase some tranquilizer guns and properly train its officers on their use. Maybe then the beautiful cat’s death will not have been completely in vain.
Kentuckians Vote for Animals (KVFA) encourages you to express your thoughts on the matter to Fish & Wildlife, by contacting them at 1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601, 502-564-3400.
Open records request letter-
December 17, 2014
Gregory Johnson, Commissioner
Kentucky Fish & Wildlife
1 Sportsman’s Ln
Frankfort, KY 40601
Dear Commissioner Johnson:
Like so many others, our organization, Kentuckians Vote for Animals (KVFA), a grass-roots, non-profit organization dedicated to improving animal welfare in Kentucky, was dismayed at the handling of the mountain lion situation in Bourbon Co. It is regrettable that your officers chose to kill the animal and pose for pictures with its dead body rather than to tranquilize and relocate it.
We hope that in the future Fish and Wildlife officers responding to such calls will be prepared with tranquilizer guns and trained in their usage. Perhaps some monies received by the department in hunting and fishing fees can be used toward tranquilizer gun purchase and training.
Also enclosed is an open records request for any documentation, including the involved officers’ names, involved in the incident.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Hopefully your procedures in handling calls can be changed so that this beautiful animal’s death will not have been entirely in vain.
CC: Governor’s Office
F&W Records Custodian