I am writing this letter in response to the letter written by Mr. Stephen Lebovits in last weeks paper (Killing cougars isnt conservation, February 6th Pioneer). His first three paragraphs in regards to the Conservation Officer Service Program Plan were bang on to the point.
This is exactly what my husband and I witnessed in the unfortunate put down of our resident cougar. We live in CastleRockand were firsthand witnesses to this disappointing outcome.Three officers attended the call that was made by our neighbours. They were most efficient, responsible and respectful at all times in this lengthy course of action (it took two hours).
They allowed the four of us to assist them in trying to scare the cougar from his hiding place under our friends deck. They always answered our questions and included us in their plans of action at all times. I was very surprised that they actually allowed us to stay. My presumption was that they would have sent us away at the onset. It was with deep regret that they had to make the decision to put this cougar away. It unfortunately did not make the requirement to be collared as it was discovered that this animal was injured and perhaps blind in one eye. They made it clear to us that this was one of the strict rules they had to follow in the Urban Cougar Relocation Program and thus the call was made to put the animal down.
They stayed long after the event to answer all the questions brought forth from other neighbours who came afterwards. Mr. Lebovits is so very right in that we share the mountains with all of the wildlife here and we do need to work on co-existing with them to the best of everyones ability, but at no time did anyone of those officers act as a barbarian with a weapon and maybe Mr. Lebovits should get a little more info before he badmouths other peoples actions!
Janice P. Freadrich