Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

September 26, 2011

To Hunt or Not to Hunt, That is the Question

When it comes to the critically Endangered Florida Panther, there is little room for error.
Even though the Panthers numbers have remained at a perilous level for half a century, hunters in Florida are demanding that the Big Cypress Preserve be opened up to hunting.
This is the only restaurant that the Panther has and the menu only has a few items on it, most importantly the White Tailed Deer.
If hunters are allowed into this area to kill them, how many will remain for the Panther to survive on?
I live in the Ocala Forest and have seen these same hunters in action, repeatedly.
They travel up and down our local roads with their dogs in cages.
The dogs are kept starving, so that they will hunt better.
After they are released into the woods, the hunters go in and kill at will.
Meanwhile, the dogs can be seen on the side of the road, their ribs hanging out, wearing their radio collars and desperately waiting to be picked up by their owners.
Some are hit and killed on the road, others have ended up lost, trying to get into our local post office or begging at local homes for food.
These are the kind of people who will do the right thing, right?
They would never kill more deer than they are allowed to, right?
So let's see, the Panther has had its habitat chopped to pieces, or virtually eliminated, now they want to take its food, what does that leave?
Maybe we could take the air that they breathe as well?
The hunters have an entire state to hunt in, the Panther has only one place left.
When the deer are all gone, the severely Endangered Florida Panther will of course take what ever it can find; cows, pets, you name it, if you were starving wouldn't you?
Come on people, think about this, it's not rocket science, it's survival.
You can read more about it and then respond/react here: Hunting Management Plan

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