It’s a sad fact of life in wildlife management: Every now and then, wild animals have to be killed for the sake of ecological or agricultural protection. “Culling,” as it’s known, is often a last resort and is usually carried out with a grim sense of necessary duty. After all, most wildlife professionals aren’t big on the idea of killing wildlife. Right?
An unsettling new investigation by the Sacramento Bee found that the federal Wildlife Services agency, an obscure bureau within the USDA tasked with “resolving wildlife conflicts,” has in the last decade accidentally killed over 50,000 animals that posed no threat to people or the environment (in addition to nearly a million coyotes killed intentionally). The execution roster would make John Muir roll over in his grave: wolverines, river otters, migratory shorebirds, bald and golden eagles, and more than a thousand dogs (averaging eight a month!), including family pets. (via Why Is the Government Killing Bald Eagles? | Mother Jones)