Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 3:04 PM on Wednesday, March 14, 2012

There were options to killing moose

I was saddened to read (Homer News online) about police shooting a moose at Homer High School as the Church of the Rock congregation was trying to leave the building. Apparently worshippers were trapped in the school by the aggressive charging moose, which was later killed by police after they: tempted it with food; yelled at it through a bullhorn; blared a siren; sprayed it with pepper spray; shot it with a tazer.

Then the terrible animal tried to charge the police officer, who shot it dead. I hope Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist Thomas McDonoughs blessing to police to gun this animal down as the best option came with a stern lecture.

The people trapped in the school could have gotten out through any number of exits, even if the building is mostly locked from the outside on a Sunday. The loading dock exit is the closest to the front door, only a short walk. The police officer could have assisted in this safe and peaceful change of plan to exit the building.

Moose have their own concept of time, and usually theyre not in a rush. We all know this. This winter has been brutal for them, theyre starving, and theyve been searching for food in atypical places. If we choose to settle here in their country, we must give moose a wide berth, quoting a former area wildlife biologist. We wait them out if they dont want to move out of our way quite yet we dont attack them with a shovel and get a whole ball rolling that winds up in a brutal killing, just because were in a hurry to get out a certain door.

Lora Wilke