Readers sound off on the death of bighorn sheep and mountain lions in the Catalina Mountains.
Mountain lions dying for natural behavior
As expected, Game and Fish has decided to murder two native mountain lions because they did what lions naturally do, killed and ate two bighorn sheep.
The original herd died out 20 years ago because their habitat was slowly being encroached upon by man. Hikers, dogs and development ate away at the habitat and the sheep died out.
If anything, today there is more encroachment, development and hiking. The new herd simply cannot and will not survive.
So what does Game and Fish do? Go on a killing spree to eradicate mountain lions.
How is this even legal?
When will they cut their losses and stop this terrible reintroduction?
Leave the sheep where they thrive near Yuma, and stop finding excuses for murdering lions for acting like lions.
No matter how many sheep they transport to the Catalinas it is just a matter of time before they too are extinct.
This is a travesty and a senseless loss of both sheep and lions. How utterly sad.
Raymond J. Santoro
Postal worker, Tucson
Forcibly moving herd
of sheep was a mistake
The actions of the Arizona Game and Fish Department are deplorable.
The transplanting of the bighorn herd to the Catalinas was an ill-conceived idea at best. The fact that the original herd died out is reason alone to question this move.
Killing two mountain lions for doing what they are born to do is truly disgusting.
Bighorn sheep survive primarily by becoming agile, sure-footed creatures that adopt a cliff-type habitat that is essentially inaccessible by predators.
If such a habitat is not available to them, then they have been put in the wrong place.
If Game and Fish wants to raise the sheep like domestic livestock, protecting them from all predators, they should become ranchers, not wildlife managers.
The department spokesman is quoted as saying these killings were done by the book.
Apparently, “the book” is not based on common sense.
The biggest challenge to the survival of our wildlife is Arizona Game and Fish.
Retired, Sierra Vista
Shame, shame, shame
on AZ Game and Fish
Now let me get this straight. The Arizona Game and Fish Department transplants, at taxpayers’ expense, 31 bighorn sheep from their natural habitat in Yuma to the Catalina Mountains, the natural habitat of mountain lions.
Within weeks, two bighorns are found dead and for that reason two mountain lions are killed by Game and Fish.
What a surprise!
What did they expect from this experiment?
That the lions would not stalk the sheep for food?
It appears the department’s stupidity is only surpassed by their desire to destroy God’s creatures.
This is just another attempt by these people to override the natural order of nature by taking things into their own hands.
My heart bleeds for both of these beautiful species that are being needlessly led to the slaughter.
Shame, shame, shame!
Retired business owner, Rio Rico
Why can’t we leave
well enough alone?
The mountain lions are thinking, “Thanks for the snacks!” Little do they realize their “patoot” is grass.
Well-meaning groups may want to restore and manipulate nature to what they deem is the ideal by trying to bring back what once was.
However, their actions do not always bring the desired results.
Mountain lions are only doing what comes naturally and should not be punished for it.
Why does one species have to suffer at the expense of another? Why, oh why, can’t we ever leave well enough alone?
ED Letter Hed goes here two lines
I am horrified that the only alternative to the mountain lions killing the newly released bighorn sheep is to kill them. Surely this can’t be a surprise to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
I am thrilled that the bighorns have been reintroduced to the Catalina Mountains, but I should think the mountain lions who have committed this “crime” could be relocated rather than killed. Shame on Game and Fish for not having a better conservation plan.
Marketing consultant, Tucson