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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved the first-ever alligator hunt in a Florida wildlife preserve. Eleven hunters have been selected to each take two alligators from the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Hunters can stalk and kill these poor creatures with a bangstick - a pole that shoots a shotgun shell or bullet into the animal's brain. This method can leave them conscious to the suffering and terror surrounding them before they die.
There is no need for alligator population control, especially in a wildlife refuge where to sole purpose is to protect the wildlife that dwells within. Alligators are an "umbrella or keystone species" of the preserve. They are at the top of the food chain and provide a necessary element in the ecosystem that includes 150,000 acres of the northern Everglades.
Refuges like the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge are meant to keep animals safe and protected from hunters. The legal gator hunt is a complete violation of wildlife protection! Call on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to uphold their duty to protect these alligators and ban hunting in all wildlife preserves!
Dear U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Daniel Ashe,
The USFWS has approved eleven licenses for hunters to stalk and kill two alligators in the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. I stand in opposition to the decision to legally allow hunters to violate the purpose of a wildlife refuge.
Alligators are a cornerstone of the Everglades ecosystem and deserve the protection provided to them by the national wildlife preserve. I call on your office to immediately revoke the hunting licenses and ban any further 'gator hunts' from Florida's wildlife preserves. A wildlife refuge is meant to protect, not endanger animals.
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