Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Horns Of A Dilemma

Imagine my surprise when, as I awoke to check the morning news, there were no additional homicides to report in the Oakland metro area. 2013 had not started out in an encouraging fashion, after one hundred and thirty-one people were killed the year before. That's about the time I turned to my e-mail, which included an article from my hometown: Boulder, Colorado.
It seems that two police officers conspired to kill and cart away a bull elk that had been seen rutting around a residential area. It should be noted that wildlife intrusions into the daily life of Boulderites is nothing new. Prairie dogs, mountain lions, and even the occasional bear wander into the city limits like they own the place. Most of the time, this is seen as part of the charm of living so close to nature, pushed right up the base of the Rocky Mountains. But what I remember most from when I lived there was the periodic flurry of aggressive deer encounters. The discussion has raged for decades about whose rights are being infringed in these instances. Plopping a subdivision in the middle of prime grazing land just seems like asking for these kind of problems. That's why, for the most part, wildlife and humans have negotiated a pretty effective truce over the years.
Until now.
Boulder police officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow turned themselves in to the County Jail last Friday morning and were booked on suspicion of forgery, tampering with physical evidence, attempting to influence a public official as well as unlawful taking of a trophy elk, conspiracy, a Samson surcharge, killing an elk out of season, unlawful use of an electronic device to unlawfully take wildlife and first degree official misconduct.The electronic device, in case you were curious, was a cell phone, which used to coordinate the efforts of these urban Nimrods. What they may not have counted on was the public's affection for what many considered their "guardian." The community said goodbye to the elk, and probably to Carter and Curnow as peace officers.
Meanwhile, back here in Oakland, we wait to see what the news will be like for the next week.

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