Big Cat Advocates Oppose Plan To Kill Cougars

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Oregon’s 2016 big-game hunting regulations will be on the agenda when the Fish and Wildlife Commission meets in Florence Oct. 8 and 9.

Specifically the commission will discuss opening up target areas where “cougar numbers will be proactively reduced in response to established criteria” for cougar conflicts with humans, livestock or other game animals such as mule deer.

There were no target areas in 2014 and 2015, but the commission is proposing to open up four areas in 2016. One of them is to reduce livestock and safety conflicts, two are for improving mule deer populations and the fourth is for mule deer and bighorn sheep.

Cougar advocates want the state to know that “the people of Oregon want cougars well managed and not killed en masse because of ill-conceived schemes that have no scientific validity,” as Scott Beckstead, senior Oregon director for the Humane Society of the United States, puts it.

In a call to Facebook followers to come and testify on Oct. 9, the group Predator Defense compares cougars to Cecil, the African lion killed by an American hunter, saying, “America’s mountain lions are experiencing the same fate as Cecil, Zimbabwe’s most famous and beloved lion, illegally killed in July by a Minnesota dentist on a trophy hunt.” The group continues, “But what’s happening here is even worse — the slaughter is legal and being carried out by government agents on behalf of deer hunters.”

Beckstead of HSUS tells EW, “The policy of treating wild ungulates like free-roaming livestock to be ‘harvested’ and wild carnivores as vermin to be exterminated is an archaic approach to wildlife management that ignores the evolving humane values of most Oregonians.” He points out that voters have opposed twice allowing recreational hunters to use hounds to hunt cougars in 1994 and 1996.

According to the commission’s agenda information, depending on the area, the cougar killing would be carried out by volunteer agents, federal Wildlife Services and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at an annual cost of almost $70,000 to remove 95 cougars. Sally Mackler, native carnivore advocate for Predator Defense, says “federal agents from the USDA’s Wildlife Services and local houndsmen deputized by ODFW are immune from state law banning use of hounds by trophy hunters.”

Beckstead says that “using packs of radio-collared trailing hounds and neck snares to indiscriminately kill Oregon cougars” in the target zones “under the guise of protecting mule deer and reducing conflicts with humans and livestock is just poor wildlife management, not scientifically valid.”

Mackler adds, “Science shows that cougar predation is a minor influence on mule deer population, and the main reasons for decline are habitat, nutritional quality of and access to forage.”

The groups are calling for a stop to “indiscriminate killing” and for the use of up-to-date science on the big cats, especially in light of the fact that Oregon’s management plan for cougars is due to be revised and updated next year. “Cougars should be conserved for all, not just managed for a few trophy hunters,” Predator Defense, HSUS and 10 other groups say in their comments to the ODFW commission.

Those who wish to testify about the plan can go to the 8 am meeting at the Driftwood Shores Resort, Pacific Room, 2nd floor, 88416 1st Ave. in Florence.

Cougar Advocates File Appeal to Reverse Undemocratic, Arbitrary Quota Increase by Wildlife Commission

In response to dramatic increases in cougar hunting quotas, eight organizations and a wildlife research scientist have submitted an administrative appeal to Gov. Jay Inslee to return cougar hunting quotas to scientifically justifiable levels. The petitioners include The Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity, Mountain Lion Foundation, Wolf Haven International, The Cougar Fund, The Lands Council, Predator Defense, Kettle Range Conservation Group and Gary Koehler, Ph.D., a former research scientist with the WA Dept. of Fish and Game.

At their April meeting, in a two-minute exchange and without prior notice to the public, members of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to raise the cougar quota by 50 to 100 percent in areas of Washington also inhabited by wolves.

On June 30, the parties filed a formal petition asking the Commission to reverse its controversial decision. On Aug. 21, the Commission voted 7 to 1 to keep its decision in place, ignoring public outcry and a 13 year Washington-based scientific study that cost taxpayers approximately $5 million dollars. The study shows such quotas will harm cougar populations and increase mortality of cougar mothers and their dependent cougar kittens.

Washington-based cougar studies also show that killing cougars may exacerbate conflicts with people and livestock and does nothing to prevent future cougar attacks or make people safer. Furthermore, a 2010 poll of Washingtonians found that more than 90 percent of residents appreciate and value cougars.

Dan Paul, Washington state director for The HSUS, said: “Washingtonians care deeply about cougars and the role that these iconic animals play in maintaining healthy wild lands in our state. We urge Governor Inslee to reverse this misguided and arbitrary decision that is biologically unsound, has wasted millions of tax dollars and left stakeholders out of the public rulemaking process.”

In 1996, Washington voters approved I-655 with 63 percent of the statewide vote, to protect cougars and other wildlife species from inhumane and unsporting methods of trophy hunting. This expansion of cougar killing is contrary to the wishes of Washington voters for cougar protections.

Gov. Inslee has 45 days to respond to the filing.

Program offers bear hunt to sick kids

They’re going to die, but why not kill a bear before it’s over? A “sick” kid in more ways than one…

(WBAY) — A program in Oconto County is assisting children with life-threatening illnesses by giving them a chance to hunt bears and spend more time outdoors.

“It’s very special, they get to bond,” said Bruce Watruba, Secretary of Oconto River Kids, “most people never expect to be able to bear hunt with their child.”

Bruce “Bearman” Watruba is part of Oconto River Kids, a program that brings kids with life-threatening illnesses into the woods, and gives them a chance to bear hunt.

“Most of these kids haven’t hunted before,” said Watruba, “and when they come up hunting, when they do tip a bear over, they are so excited.”

Kids like 16-year-old Lexie Joly, who has brain cancer.

“At first it [cancer] was scary,” said Lexie, “but now I just, go through every day and I fight. I’m all good.”

While she’s never been hunting until now, she’s glad she decided to head into the blind with her mom, and a guide.

“I came here first to bait, then we can here again to practice shooting the gun I’d be using,” said Lexie. “Now I’m here again for the bear hunt.”

Oconto River Kids is run completely on donations, and the generosity of local businesses.

“We’ve got area taxidermists that help us out,” said Watruba, “they give us discounts on the mounts, and we have a pretty good reputation in the area, with all the area businesses.”

This program wouldn’t be able to keep running if it weren’t for the 80-some volunteers and all the donations. Every bear tag used by one of the kids, has been donated by a hunter.

“In Zone B, it takes 10 years to get a tag,” said Watruba, “and yet, we’ve got these people that are giving us their tags to use to hunt.”

“They’re selfless, they don’t ask for anything,” said Robyn Joly, Lexie’s mom, “they just do it because they want to, and that’s the biggest thing.”

Lexie didn’t see a bear on her first day, but hopes to get one when she heads out with a guide later this week. She says, she’s grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s really cool that people just donate the bear tag, and all this, sponsors,” said Lexie, “I really thank them for this opportunity, I’ll probably never get this again.”

If you’d like to be part of Oconto River Kids, you can request information by sending a letter to:

Oconto River Kids
P.O. Box 288
Mountain, WI 54149

You can also visit their website at

 Wildlife Photography© Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography© Jim Robertson

Comparative Psychological Criminal Profile of Walter Palmer and Robert Hansen

Although one never saw the light of day again (former bakery-shop owner Hansen died in an Alaskan prison in 2014) and one may never see the inside of a courtroom, there are numerous similarities between serial killer/trophy hunter Robert Hansen and dentist/trophy hunter Walter Palmer:

  • Both were family men, well-liked and successful in small business
  • Both were avid sport hunters (though thus far Dr. Palmer‘s chosen “trophies” were taken only from the legal, non-human side of the imaginary great divide that separates worthy life forms from fair “game.”)
  • Both “sportsmen” Walter Palmer and Robert Hansen enjoyed the challenge of bow hunting (presumably to prolong the agony for their prey)
  • Both needed to constantly to refresh their “trophies” in an obsessive effort to boost their flagging self-esteems (after all, how much macho pride can be derived from being a baker…or a dentist?)
  • Both serial killers objectified and thought nothing of the lives or the suffering of their many innocent victims, whom they failed to recognize as vastly superior in intrinsic value
  • Conversely, perhaps they did recognize their value and envied them for it
  • When accused, neither apologized to those whom their crimes affected, but instead cared only of how the accusations affected them
  • Both were narcissistic psychopaths
  • Both deserve whatever punishment they got or eventually get

Whether or not he broke enough hunting laws to warrant extradition back to Zimbabwe for a trial is all that seems to matter to Dr. Palmer. The fact that Cecil had a name and a radio tracking collar didn’t help the doctor’s legal case. But as with any psychopathic serial killer, his overwhelming sense of entitlement keeps him from seeing the fundamental wrong in his murderous ways.


6-4Hansens-trophy-goatImage result for walter palmer trophy room]


Woman Sprints In To Save Fox As Hunters Scream At Her

There’s simply nothing classy about fox hunting, a bloody tradition that uses dogs to tear foxes limb from limb.

While a ban on the cruel sport has been in place for a decade, it’s hard to enforce, and no one knows how many foxes are still killed each year.

But some animal activists in the U.K. are taking the law into their own hands, using whatever means they can to intervene on behalf of the defenseless animals hunted down despite the law protecting them.

Moving footage from 2012 shows the determination of a woman who couldn’t stand the cruelty.

Facebook/Leon Vegano Animal Sanctuary

The hunters sit astride horses in the fox hunting tradition, while their trained dogs do their dirty work.

Facebook/Leon Vegano Animal Sanctuary

The hounds are zeroing in on a tiny fox when a woman sprints towards them. She starts screaming at the dogs to get them to stand back.

Facebook/Leon Vegano Animal Sanctuary

She throws her own body on the fox and brings the shaking animal into her arms.

As she runs away with the fox, the hunters shout at her from their horses: “Leave it!”

Facebook/Leon Vegano Animal Sanctuary

Watch her beautiful act of bravery here:

Add your name to a petition that says the fox hunting ban needs to be more strictly enforced.

Poetic Justice



Cecil Killing Offers Prospect of Sweeping Reforms‏

Calendar Icon August 20, 2015
Since the killing of Cecil (pictured above), 38 airlines have committed to halting the shipping of the Africa Big Five.

Since the killing of Cecil (pictured above), 38 airlines have committed to halting the shipping of the Africa Big Five. Photo by 500px Prime

The reverberations from the early July slaying of Cecil the lion continue to be felt worldwide, with the news that authorities in Zimbabwe have charged the second of two men who guided Safari Club International member Walter Palmer’s illicit trophy kill just outside the borders of Hwange National Park. “Cecil was delivered to him like a pizza,” said the Hwange Lion Research Project’s Brent Stapelkamp, who took the last photo of Cecil alive, just a month before Palmer killed, skinned, and beheaded the lion with the assistance of hunting guide Theo Bronkhurst and game park owner Honest Ndlovu. We are still awaiting word on Zimbabwe’s request to extradite Walter Palmer, who was at the center of this scheme to kill Hwange National Park’s most famous lion, and if that happens, there will be some measure of justice for all three horsemen of the Hwange apocalypse.

We’re also urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to finalize its proposed rule listing the African lion under the Endangered Species Act, as have dozens of members of Congress. We are hoping for final action from the agency soon, so that further imports of lion trophies will be restricted or banned from African nations.

Either way, the killers will have a hard time getting those trophies back home. Since the Cecil slaying, 38 airlines have committed to halting the shipping of the Africa Big Five. Delta, United, and American Airlines — the big U.S.-based carriers with service to Africa — are among the airlines to ban shipping lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and Cape buffalo trophies. UPS this week announced a good, sound policy of not shipping shark fins, but we are still awaiting a declaration from that company on its policy concerning the hunting trophies, since four species of the Africa Big Five are listed, or about to be listed, as threatened with extinction under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act.

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, D-N.J., has introduced a bill to ban all imports of trophies and parts from African lions and other at-risk species into the United States. Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX, and Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX, have announced their intention to sponsor a bill to amend the Endangered Species Act to ban “all acts of senseless and perilous trophy killings.”  Lawmakers in New York and New Jersey have introduced bills to restrict imports into their states.

Right now, there are 41 trophy hunters who, just like Walter Palmer, paid a fortune to kill an animal about to get listed under the Endangered Species Act, and want a waiver from Congress to display the heads and hides of the slain animals in their homes. In the case of the 41, they killed polar bears in northern Canada. We’re fighting their import-waiver effort not just as a symbolic act to deny these trophy hunters their ill-gotten gains, but to prevent the bum rush of trophy hunters into a foreign land whenever our federal government announces that it’s going to upgrade federal protections for a declining species and restrict imports.

Finally, there is the battle we’re waging in the marketplace of ideas. We’ve answered the self-serving reasoning of the trophy-hunting clan about the value of their activity to conservation, and more than ever, people see through their pay-to-slay reasoning. People realize that trophy killing undermines wildlife conservation, is no boon to national or regional economies anywhere, and should not be countenanced or encouraged by anyone. How can anyone possibly think it’s helpful to animals to kill a dominant lion in a pride with an arrow, or to slay a large-tusked elephant, or a mature rhino with a beautiful horn? For them, I guess, it diminishes the utter selfishness of the activity by concocting some far-fetched scenario where killing a creature somehow helps the grieving, surviving family members or pride or herd mates. It’s really a travesty to think anyone could buy this drivel.

When it comes to The HSUS and Humane Society International, we’re going to devote more resources, in the near and the long term, to fight this enterprise of globe-trotting trophy hunting of the rarest, most remarkable animals in the world. If you’re willing to stand with us, and to support our worldwide campaigns against trophy killing, I’m willing to make you this promise: Cecil won’t have died in vain.


Here’s how you can help fight trophy hunting:

Tell Congress to stop trophy hunting >

Ask the USFWS to finalize listing African lions under the Endangered Species Act >

Ask airlines to end the transport of hunting trophies >

Ask South African Airways to recommit to a ban on hunting trophies >

Tell UPS to ban the shipment of hunting trophies >

The post Cecil Killing Offers Prospect of Sweeping Reforms appeared first on A Humane Nation.

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Bill Maher: “Unlike Lion Killers, PETA Only Goes After Fair Game”

8/20/2015 9:00am PDT

“PETA constituents are not fat cats but pigs, cows, orcas, mice and any other animal in trouble,” says the ‘Real Time’ host, a longtime board member of 35-year-old animal rights organization.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 28 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

When an organization has been as effective as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, it’s hard to believe they’ve been around for only 35 years. It all started when some forward-thinking people launched a group that would rip the lid off corporate and government wrongdoing to animals, get behind the scenes in everything from fur ranching to chicken farming and demand that we replace cruel choices with kind ones. Where would we be today without PETA? Before PETA was around, you could pretty much do anything you wanted to animals, anytime, anyhow. And now you can’t — think about that. Being on PETA’s board is a perfect fit for me because PETA takes on the status quo and challenges conventional thinking. I push the envelope because the envelope needs pushing, so I love that PETA doesn’t tiptoe over the line — they jump over it with both feet.

Take PETA president Ingrid Newkirk‘s comments about the twisted killing of Cecil the lion. Perhaps her tongue was planted firmly in cheek when she said Cecil’s killer should be “tried and preferably hanged,” but she put into words what most of us were feeling. Serial killers, like trophy hunters, are cowards who kill in cold blood so they can decorate their “man caves” with animals’ heads. They deserve about as much empathy as they afford their victims: none. In a news cycle of sound bites, PETA is a household name — they’re the Beyonce of charities. They never waver in their belief that they can win for animals. Sure, they face pushback for forcing us to take a hard look at ourselves, but we do look. That kind of approach gets things done, like having Ringling Bros. finally recognize that people “get” that elephants aren’t meant to wear silly hats and do headstands.

Unlike lion killers, PETA only goes after fair game: anyone who hurts animals. They are equal-opportunity critics — they’ll call anyone out and praise anyone who does right. PETA has closed animal labs and convinced the top 10 U.S. ad agencies to stop exploiting great apes. They’ve gotten Tesla to offer all-vegan car seats, Zara’s parent company to donate about $1 million worth of angora garments to refugees rather than sell them and Ikea to dish up vegan Swedish meatballs. Who would have imagined any of that 35 years ago?

PETA’s goal is to make a kinder world for animals. I agree with that. And so does my rescue dog, whom I love for a lot of reasons — one being that every time I come home, he greets me like I’m The Beatles. We need more people who stick up for the underdog and undermouse. This country is not overrun with rebels and freethinkers; it’s overrun with conformists. And PETA has never conformed. That’s why I’m right there with them, full on.

Bill Maher is a comedian, author, host of HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher and an 18-year board member of PETA.

Read more from THR’s philanthropy issue below.

How Cecil the Lion Rescued a Wildlife Program on the Verge of Extinction

How Tom Rothman, Mark Gordon and the Fulfillment Fund Are Improving L.A.’s Graduation Rates

Why Hollywood Loved the Ice Bucket Challenge (Guest Column)

Lady Gaga ‘Hunting Ground’ Song to Become Campus Rape PSA Directed by Catherine Hardwicke

How 100 Hollywood Moms Are Supporting Foster Kids Who Become Mothers

Matthew Perry on Sobriety and Service: “Two Alcoholics Talking to Each Other is a Big Deal”

Bill Cosby, Donald Sterling and the “Nightmare” Naming-Rights Problem

The Entertainment Industry’s Biggest Givers

Why Kirk and Anne Douglas Are Giving Away Their Fortune

The Hollywood Indies Little League Swings and Connects With At-Risk Youth

Lionel Richie Named MusiCares Person of the Year

How Ted Danson, Cobie Smulders and Mary Steenburgen Are Fighting for the Oceans

Why Are Hunters Such A$$H@les?


In Defense of Legal Killing

Wayne Bisbee is founder of Bisbee’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund, a nonprofit organization that promotes conservation programs through science, education and technology. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)The recent illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe has understandably generated passionate and emotional responses from around the world.

I agree with the common sentiment that the circumstances around Cecil’s death are abhorrent and those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I also think it’s unfortunate that legitimate hunters are given a public black eye by this case.

Let’s face it, we all feel strongly about this issue, whether we’re animal activists, conservationists, or hunters. Many of us have the same basic goal: to ensure that endangered species are here for generations to come.

That’s why I advocate conservation through commerce, which are controlled and high-dollar hunts whose proceeds benefit animal conservation. This is one of numerous legal, logical and effective tools to humanely manage resources, raise awareness of endangered animals, and help fund solutions.

Wayne Bisbee

<img alt=”Wayne Bisbee” class=”media__image” src=””>

Yes, I am an avid hunter. I enjoy the thrill and challenge of stalking an animal and providing a more natural, healthier meat protein source to my family than what is available from the commercial food industry.

Today, most hunters see the activity as sport. But hunting has been around as long as man and it’s not likely to go away any time soon. Billions of the world’s human population eat animal meat for protein, and this is not going to change. So the reality is that somewhere, somehow, millions of animals are killed every day to sustain human life.

Does that mean I hate animals? Absolutely not. I love wildlife and I’m not alone among hunters. In a study published in the March 2015 issue of The Journal of Wildlife Management, researchers from Clemson University and Cornell University found that “wildlife recreationists — both hunters and birdwatchers — were 4 to 5 times more likely than non-recreationists to engage in conservation behaviors, which included a suite of activities such as donating to support local conservation efforts, enhancing wildlife habitat on public lands, advocating for wildlife recreation, and participating in local environmental groups.”

Hunters are more likely than non-hunters to put our money and time where our mouths are. It makes sense when you think about it. Hunters have a vested interest in keeping exotic and endangered animals from going extinct.

It’s about resource management

All animals, from wolves to rhinos to humans, are hierarchical. In the animal kingdom there are alpha males who try to eliminate competition. An older member of a herd often isn’t ready to step aside just because he can no longer perform his reproductive duties.

Older, post-breeding males are also very often aggressive and interfere with the proliferation of the rest of the herd, especially in the rhino species. That’s why a legitimate trophy hunt to benefit conservation can remove a problem animal from a herd.   …

The right way to hunt

No one thinks that putting a suffering dog to sleep is inhumane. The same logic applies to hunting …

[WTF? Does that mean shooting an animal with an arrow and pursuing it for 40 long hours before killing it is considered “humane” for hunters? I’ve heard enough. If you want to read more of this bullshit article, it continues here]:


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