Diane J. Peterson, White Bear Lake
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Is it better to trap, spay/neuter, release?
Is it possible to educate someone to the level of a doctorate in the sciences, who has no understanding of the most basic principles of ecology and environmental biology? I think so. Every veterinarian who participates in a catch, neuter and release program of feral cats is testament of such. Feral cats, are invasive, subsidized predators, who wreck ecological havoc across America (“Catch and release? Minneapolis rethinks stray cat approach,” March 8).
No one would ever consider implementing such a program with feral dogs, because of the danger they’d represent to the human population. And yet there is no empathy toward the predatory destruction which surrounds free roaming cats. There is only one solution: Keep your cats inside.
Mark Palas, St. Paul
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I applaud Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon for introducing this issue. St. Paul shows a statistically relevant decrease in the feral cat population using a spay/neuter approach. It is right to target irresponsible pet owners, but too often neighborhoods are presented with a fait accompli in the form of unwanted kittens who are too terrified of people to be socialized as pets.
I have seen hawks fly birds into my windows for an easy meal, and owls have left rabbit remains in my back yard. So cats are not the only threat to wildlife, and cats who are fed are less likely to seek birds for a meal. I hope this endeavor succeeds as a model for other communities. As communities, we need to find solutions to living with animals besides just killing the ones we find undesirable.
Christine Olson, Golden Valley
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Admire them with a proper dose of respect
One need only to read the headline “Investigators look into why lion killed a fearless lover of big cats” (March 8) to answer the question it poses. Two words explain — “fearless” and “lion.” I grieve for the family of the woman who died, and I applaud her energy and zeal for the welfare of these magnificent creatures. How we wish she had channeled her love and talents to a safer method of conservation of the species in its own habitat.
Big cats kill. It is that simple. They cannot be domesticated and should not be caged, nor used as entertainment for humans. They are meant to be in the wild. They don’t want us around, except as food. Let us all learn to love, but respect, these fellow inhabitants of our planet.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.