Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Story gave wild animal respect it deserves

To the editor:

I want to call attention to the fine, fair reporting in Gazette Contributing Reporter Stefan Ward-Wheten’s Oct. 13 front page article, “Moose charges logger Peter Brown in Shutesbury.”

Unlike so many reports of human encounters with dangerous wild animals, Ward-Wheten provides readers with insights into the motives and intentions of both the human and nonhuman involved. The logger, knowing that this is the season when moose mate and aware of bull moose behavior during rut, knew the hostility he encountered was natural and could be expected. As both he and the reporter point out, at other times of the year moose remain benign when humans enter their territory — the exception being mother moose when they perceive danger to their young.

One might wish that logger Brown avoid casing out the woods during these periods rather than persisting with a chainsaw for reinforcement (although I assume it would be used as a noisemaker rather than a weapon), but the knowledge of moose behavior he exhibits nonetheless can serve as model for all our relations with our nonhuman (not to mention our human) neighbors.

Such balanced reporting should also serve as a model for other reports of human/wild animal encounters which too often cast the wild animal as aggressive intruder.

Marion W. Copeland


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