The Wild Animal Sanctury threat to current wildlife on 9,000-acre ranch
August 3, 2018
This letter was written in response to The Wild Animal Sanctuary article in The Fence Post issue July 16, 2018.
Misunderstanding? I assure Mr. Kent Drotar that there is no misunderstanding on my part. Thirty-eight and a half years without an escape is no guarantee that there will not be a wildlife escape in the future.
Animal psychology? I have had many wildlife "would be" pets. Raccoons, coyotes, a raven, squirrels, birds, etc. Without exception, each one turned a bad type of wild when they had some freedom. They already understood human ways. Any type of escaped carnivore listed in The Fence Post article as being at the sanctuary, lions, tigers, bears, wolves, etc., will be "wild" in a very short amount of time — especially the cats. Wild is in their DNA.
Habitat? The short grass prairie here in southern Colorado is fragile and what looks like barren land to some already has wildlife such as reptiles: fence lizards, horned lizards, red racers, hog nosed snake, gopher snake, prairie rattle snake; raptors: kestrels, prairie falcons, red-tailed hawk, ravens, turkey vultures, burrowing owls, scaled quail, and the great-horned owl; mammals: bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, coyotes, badgers, bobcats, 13-lined ground squirrel, chipmunks, ring-tailed cats, kangaroo rats, prairie dogs, cotton tails and jack rabbits. All would be displaced by the Sanctuary!
The hypocrisy. If I caught a coyote in a leg hold trap, you would scream to the governor, but you would ruin this 9,000-acre ecosystem for a fantasy.
Water? What about water for the facility? Any time you have water for that large number of animals, you have taken it from something and/or someone else.
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What about the sewage? Carnivores have more nitrogen and urea in their feces than herbivores. That is bad news for short grass in a dry climate. What about the chemicals used in disinfecting the pens going in to the septic systems? Or will the chemicals be run on the ground and the water polluted? Remember Mr. Drotar, we have septic systems — not city sewage systems. Toxic chemicals, ruined habitat and ecosystems are with us for a long, long time.
Disease? Will your animals bring a new disease to the area? How about treating these diseases?
You see Mr. Drotar, I have absolutely no misunderstanding at all. ❖