Tuesday, August 11, 2020


Moab, UT

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    Hunters: Many birds mate for life

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    Public submissions to The Times-Independent can range from press releases to obituaries to feature stories and news. All submissions are subject to editorial review and approval.

    What hunters might not know is that many species of birds mate for life, including sandhill cranes and swans (“Special bird hunting permit applications open for species that are not widely available,” July 2). Birds grieve the loss of their partners, and many of them, including geese, will choose to remain widows or widowers for the rest of their lives after their best friend is killed.

    a pair of sandhill cranes
    Sandhill cranes such as this pair mate for life. Photo courtesy of USFWS/Wikimedia Commons

    A series of photos of one goose couple in China went viral after the female was tied into a bag, put on the back of a motorcycle, and taken off to be killed and eaten. Her lifelong partner tried desperately to free her, but her human captors were much stronger.
    The pair kissed each other goodbye and cried out as the female was driven away. The man who took her later said that when he was preparing to kill her, she had tears in her eyes. He said that he feels extremely guilty and if he had it to do over, he would let the couple “live to be 100.”
    If hunters want to “do something different and have an incredible outdoors experience,” as one Utah Division of Wildlife Resources employee said, they should try pursuing nonlethal hobbies and letting animals live.

    — Michelle Kretzer
    The PETA Foundation
    Norfolk, Virginia

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