My wife, Laurel, is a big animal lover. Well, she loves small animals too. All kinds, really.
She has worked hard to put on a free showing of "Wild Things" next Thursday, April 3, 6:30 pm, at the Loucks Auditorium adjacent to the Salem, Oregon Library.
(Not the 1998 erotic thriller; the 2013 award-winning film about how the federal Wildlife Services agency needlessly kills tens of thousands of carnivores each year.)
Laurel wrote a Salem Weekly opinion piece, "The Taxpayer Funded War Against Predators," about the film and Wildlife Services. Excerpt:
Few people know that a federal agency uses both cruel and brutal traps, along with dangerous poisons, to kill our native wildlife. Most people have no idea about the scope of the killing by the USDA Wildlife Services agency. Every year it kills thousands of coyotes, as well as cougars and wolves, at taxpayer expense, mostly for the benefit of private ranchers.
Most dog owners are unaware that dogs in Oregon have fallen victim to the barbaric traps. Some have died in traps while their horrified owners tried helplessly to free them, one as recently as last spring. Wildlife Services traps have been set close to publicly used hiking trails, often with little warning to the public.
Thousands of non-target wildlife are killed in the traps. Former Wildlife Services trappers say the motto was “shoot, shovel, and shut up” when a pet or non-target animal was found trapped.
...It is time for a change in what Wildlife Services does. The public needs to learn about the agency’s little-known needless war against top predators, and pressure elected officials to take action. See “Wild Things.”
The film will be followed by a panelist discussion and Q&A. Panelists include Dr. Robert Beschta of OSU and John Lungren, an environmental attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center.
Here's the trailer for Wild Things: