Siding with science over sentiment

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They killed the big kitty.

That news didn’t go over well with many Coeur d’Alene Press readers this week after Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers destroyed a mountain lion that had perched in a tree right in the heart of Coeur d’Alene.

“Look a little harder for a solution instead of putting the beautiful cat to death,” wrote one reader on cdapress.com. “You officials are pathetic sometimes. Who ever made the final decision to kill the cat should be kicked in the ---”

“Was it because it was too far to drive to release it out in the woods and it was going to interrupt Monday night football time?” wrote another upset reader.

We get it. Healthy people hate to see a beautiful animal like that killed because it basically wandered where it did not belong.

On the other hand, a big cat roaming a densely populated community — and in this case, within a leap or two of a child care facility — absolutely must be stopped. Lethal cougar attacks this summer in the Northwest provide a stark reminder.

Fish and Game personnel are equipped with far more wildlife science than most of us who read about tragic convergences like this one, so when they say there’s a propensity for these beasts to return where they were captured or are likely to be destroyed by older cats when let loose in the wild, that opinion should be respected. We also know many of these dedicated professionals and suggest that Monday Night Football or cold hearts had nothing to do with killing the Coeur d’Alene cougar.

That’s our opinion. For another view from a respected source, check out the My Turn today on page C1.

Autumn festivities

to warm the blood

Fans of fall, feast on this.

Have a blast at Oktoberfest tomorrow, even if it’s still September. We recommend the 25th annual Oktoberfest celebration from noon to dusk at the Elks Lodge, 1170 W. Prairie Ave. It’s a family-friendly fundraiser for Northwest Expedition Academy in Hayden. You can enjoy German food, games for kids and adults, music and cold beverages that taste especially delicious this time of year. Cheers to Hayden Lake Rotary, Mark Daanen and the fantastic Elks on Prairie for making this happen.

Also this weekend, apple and pumpkin hunters will be flocking to Green Bluff farms north of Spokane. Not that most of you need additional encouragement, but the pumpkin doughnuts at Beck’s Harvest House are worth the trip. Info: greenblufffarms.com

One more recommendation for the weekend: There is no better place to have the wits scared out of you. We’re talking about Scarywood, known the rest of the year as Silverwood Theme Park, just a short drive north of Coeur d’Alene on U.S. 95. It’s a little pricey, but professional terror doesn’t come cheap. It’s also not for small children. Look for ticket discounts and other info at: scarywoodhaunt.com

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