In response to the exponential growth in deer, squirrel and rabbit populations, the Washington Department of Wildlife has started its Predator Reintroduction Program (PRP). Cougars, badgers, foxes and bobcats have already been introduced in remote areas of Moran State Park, but they’ll soon forage outside the park.
“This is really a win-win for everyone. Fewer deer and rabbits will greatly increase yields from local gardens and orchards. We’ll be in better harmony with nature’s food-pyramid,” said Ranger Smith. His nemeses Yogi and Boo-Boo Tweeted that they noticed that bears were left out of the initial PRP. While both Yogi and Boo-Boo have sworn off picnic baskets and even attend PBSA (Picnic Basket Stealers Anonymous) meetings, Ranger Smith remains skeptical of reintroducing bears at this time, especially those with records of stealing picnic baskets.
As a precaution, pet owners are encouraged to keep their cats inside as much as possible. This will not only insure the cats’ safety, but will also enhance the declining bird population. Small dogs should also be indoors as much as possible, but big dogs should be able to fend for themselves and protect local properties.
Farmers who still raise chickens, goats, llamas, etc. are encouraged to get them in their pens and barns at night. Horses and cows should be able to fend for themselves. Cougars and bobcats won’t hassle most farm animals because there is an abundance of incredibly naive deer and rabbits to be caught.
“Coyotes are also a possibility in the future,” noted Ranger Smith. Their singing at night would add greatly to the local ambiance, and they can help with the Norway Rat and White-footed Mouse infestations at many local homes”. Willard, Spokesrat for the Norway Rat Union said, “We don’t favor this program at all. OK, we’ll be good. No more nesting in the wall and floor insulation. We promise. And we’ll also stop raiding the bird-feeders while you’re asleep. Promise.”
This is a bold step forward towards returning Orcas Island to a balanced ecosystem, so enjoy your new neighbors. They’ll see you before you see them, so be observant and aware of the important role these predators have.
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