Friday, August 15, 2008

The Emu Killing on Assateague

I am outraged. In an article in last week's edition of The Eastern Shore News, an innocent and lost emu was euthenized (as they called it) because it had ended up on the Assateague Island Wildlife Refuge and the wardens had no other recourse than to kill it JUST IN CASE it had diseases that would spread to the other bird species there.

Now, to back up, the Assateague Island Wildlife Refuge is preserved as a natural and living habitat for many bird species and wildlife and I know there must be rules enforced to keep it safe for the other animals and birds, but when I read that they had killed it without rounding it up and checking for diseases, this just didn't sit right by me.

And, reading further, I discovered the bird was from Australia and was someone's pet that had escaped from its owner who lived on Chincoteague. Frankly, I didn't know an emu was over here, but I wish I had known about it because I would have loved to have seen it.

But, now I can't. Because it's dead.

The problem I have with that is that it just seems so inhumane to me and so being, I wrote a letter to the editor of The Eastern Shore News and sent it off today. This is what I wrote:

Dear Editor:
I am outraged by an article that appeared in last week’s newspaper concerning the ruthless death of an innocent bird that was KILLED at the Assateague Island Wildlife Refuge this past week. According to the article, an emu was found on the refuge and the wildlife people had no other recourse than to destroy and kill the animal just because it might be a threat to the existing wildlife. Hello? This is part of wildlife, people! But, let’s get this straight because I still cannot believe someone or some group of people can be that ruthless. A bird was lost and found sanctuary in a WILDLIFE REFUGE and there was no other choice but to kill it? What about the thousands of other birds who fly in? Are they to be sought after and destroyed, also, just because it wasn’t on the list of preferred bird species to inhabit the island? I am outraged. I understand about the cause of alarm and that it might have diseases which would be a threat to the already existing wildlife over there, but is that the best you guys can do? KILL it? Ever thought that maybe the bird just didn’t fly in from Australia and just maybe it might belong to someone? Ever hear about catching the bird and putting him in quarantine long enough to get some publicity out of it (which you’ve already done but not in a very good way, you must agree) and perhaps the owner of the bird claim it back instead of KILLING it? I am appalled. I have just moved to the island and this is my welcome? Guys, take my advice. Before someone enters your neighborhood unannounced, will you give him the benefit of a doubt that maybe he might be lost and stands a fair trial before eliminating him? And to the people of the Wildlife Refuge, if it's against the law to run over a seagull, then why is it okay for you to shoot an innocent pet?
I'm still seething.

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  1. I think wildlife management isn't as obvious as it appears to most people although it sounds like these folks probably just took the easy way out. I'll bet they wish they could do it over as your letter will probably not be the only negative one.

    We just spent a few days on the ocean, but it was the Pacific. I got the first photos of the RV park posted a few minutes ago and there will be more over the next few days.

  2. Wow, Dick...heading to your blog know how much I love your pictures!

    And, Miss C! Thanks for dropping by! It's an outrage, isn't it. I'll let you know what happens but I hope to draw attention to this matter and not let everyone accept things as they are.

  3. I missed hearing about that in good ole newport news (I don't take the paper). I can't believe what idiots we have running things here in VA. Good for you for writting the article!

  4. Hi Patty! Miss hearing from you! Idiots is putting it mildly or calling the kettle black whichever way you want to interpret it. ;o)

  5. Gday Dorothy, I just popped in and I read this about emu part of our Aussie coat of arms..Wildlile management I dont think they care just a front...I can call them harsher than "Idiots"Ill be back to see if you get answer,,..

  6. Seems like a lot of stupidity went into the decision to kill.

  7. Bravo for you! What a tragic event. I hope they pay attention to you.

  8. Okay, go to my place to see those ocean photos. These are from right beside the campground. I have others from farther north that I'll post next.


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