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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 23, 2009 at 4:00 PM

State Patrol and seagulls: Did troopers go too far?

No excuse for troopers who killed seagulls

Editor, The Times:

There is no excuse for the two state troopers killing young seagulls in their nest at the Seattle ferry dock [“Troopers: Trying to clear gulls from area,” NWWednesday, July 22]. The article describes a violent episode of beating these young birds to death with batons. If the gulls were a nuisance as it was alleged, these law-enforcement officers should have let the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife handle the problem.

Fish and Wildlife officials would have come up with a better solution, since they protect wildlife from harm. Protected species or not, this method of killing was far from humane. It is rewarding to have laws in place to ensure this incident will not go unpunished.

It is wrong that some animals also seem victims of “racial profiling” — people thinking it’s OK to get rid of them in such a way just because they are only birds.

If this incident helps educate anyone on humane killing methods and on protecting species, then these baby gulls will not have died in vain.

— Claudine Erlandson, Shoreline

Could the troopers exterminate in my neighborhood?

I invite the troopers and their batons to Lake Washington to try to clear the hundreds of geese from the area. Please.

— Diane Dambacher, Seattle

Beating obnoxious birds is not the answer

Regardless of the fact that seagulls are considered protected wildlife under Washington state law or whether these birds were in fact a nuisance, the bottom line is that one doesn’t resolve the problem by beating the animals to death with a baton.

Consequently, it should be deemed a crime punishable by law. It bothers me greatly that the troopers did what they did, and it sure makes me wonder what was going through their minds when they did it.

— Barbara Gust, Lynnwood

Time, money being wasted because of tattling

One of the first things children learn about developing social awareness and trust is not to tattle.

The supervisor of the two State Patrol troopers, who inadvertently may have killed two immature seagulls while destroying a nest, tattled on them. And as a result, the Department of Fish and Wildlife is obligated to engage the prosecuting attorney who is now obligated to attempt to file criminal charges. Meanwhile, maybe the FBI will have to get into it, and the two officers are on paid leave.

All of this is wasting our taxpayer dollars because we have a supervisor incapable of standing up for their men and instead tattled on the officers.

This supervisor needs to be advanced to where his or her decisions cannot cause all of this grief and wastefulness. Two immature seagulls are not worth all of this, endangered or not.

The troopers should be commended for being proactive and effectively getting rid of a disturbance hampering ferry safety and security operations.

— Norman Brueske, Bellevue

Punish the supervisor, not the troopers

Give these State Patrol troopers $5 each for coffee, and put them back to work.

Then, when state and federal government have a spare minute or two, cancel the protected species designation on all seagulls, including the young.

Talk about a situation that has been completely blown out of proportion. This is insane. Fire the trooper’s supervisor, who has a propensity to see a red flag and a falling sky from the vantage point of a bird’s nest, and anyone else who doesn’t have anything more productive to do.

— Hal Edwards, Edmonds

Comments | More in animals, Parks, Public safety

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