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Hacking possum totally unwarranted

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In response to article “Possum hacking riles up support” by Jenifer Gee, (Journal, Nov. 19): I am appalled at the blatant, senseless and deliberate killing of a possum in Lake of the Pines. More so by LOP resident support in defense of a 19-year-old that was allegedly “protecting” his younger sibling. This reporting along with the dentist who bludgeoned a bird with an alleged broken wing to put it out of its misery along with the inhumane stoning of a rat was unbelievable and has certainly evoked much emotion in my area of the foothills. Mr. (Carter) Livingston’s acts were unwarranted under any circumstance. “Hacking a possum 44 times with a meat cleaver in front of witnesses including children”? What was he thinking? Possums hiss and bare their teeth when they are frightened and they are not inherently dangerous and they are good for the environment. If he had simply moved away with his young brother, the possum would have scampered off. What was described in the article constitutes animal cruelty: “pre-meditated intentional cruelty and malicious killing.” The support of LOP residents claiming Mr. Livingston is a “high principled man” and his future should not be compromised by “a few minutes of stupidity” is absurd and certainly not all-encompassing. Folks, open your hearts and minds. Look inside the act itself. As a wildlife researcher for 18 years, I can say I have dealt with many possums under a variety of circumstances and have yet to be attacked. Many a broken wing has been healed by a wildlife rehabber, under the watchful eye of Fish and Game who licenses all wildlife rehabbers. The rat, well birds of a feather they say. Leave the eradication to the professionals. Education is the key. Elizabeth Sorensen, Cool