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Reader Mail: Save Panthers, Not Humans

When Panthers Attack

The truth emerges: Thanks for the great article about the threat to farmers and Gladesmen from a resurgent Florida panther population ("It Came From the Glades," Allie Conti, August 7). It finally puts out there what some folks really think about panthers. The story notes that the number of panthers has actually "reached carrying capacity south of the Caloosahatchee River," but there are different opinions from experts that suggest the current population of this animal is actually double what it should be. The folks in charge have known this for a long time. So it's no wonder why panthers are routinely run over and approach people in dangerous ways. Panthers come with a boatload of BS from government sponsors and their extreme environmentalist partners. As I often tell folks, though: Eventually the government usually has to print the truth somewhere, and now due to this good article, you get to see it at long last. gladesman

Humans are to blame: It simply amazes me about the panic people have over animals. As a zoologist and ichthyologist, I'm sad to see the endless stupid articles the press publishes about pythons, lionfish, alligators, and panthers. Let's set the record straight: As for the panthers, by whatever name they are called (pumas, mountain lions, etc.), they are not a very aggressive cat in the world of big cats. Even with the growing population here in Florida, no human attacks have been documented. People who have kept these cats as pets find them as tame as any housecat, with the small requirement of needing a larger litter box and a tad more food every day. The truth is that Florida, among other states, fails miserably with regards to the environment. We spray for mosquitoes, which kills the small lizards that eat mosquitoes. (I put mosquito-eating fish, Gambusia holbrooki, in my small backyard ponds to eat the mosquito larva that mosquitoes lay in the water.) Don't get me started. It isn't the panthers, the pythons, the lionfish, the alligators, or Godzilla running amok in Florida; it is the humans who are destroying everything here in what was once a pristine paradise. Man remains the only creature on Earth that kills for pleasure. The panther kills for food, so if someone has to lose, it should be the ever-encroaching humans whose greed and selfishness are destroying the Earth. Marlin9

They keep away annoying tourists: I love it — the more panthers the better. Learn to live with them. Here in Colorado they help eliminate the California transplants who are screwing up the state. REHAFNER

Not afraid of humans: We have blown air horns and started chain saws when panthers are lurking, and they don't leave. Rare, shy, and elusive this new breed is not! SWAMPNANA56

GTFO of FL: They are called Florida panthers. If you don't like them, move to North Dakota. Damien Claire


Missing Drugs

Drug tests for politicos: Your investigation into drugs going missing from a Broward crime lab ("False Positive," Kyle Swenson, August 7) just proves that every elected or appointed official, judge, prosecutor, and cop in Florida should be drug-tested four times a year. Put the hypocritical "drug warriors" in prison already. KOOLTOZE 3


Marijuana Intolerance

He's got a point: I never thought I would see the day, but I have to say Uncle Luke's column about African-Americans being kept out of the medical marijuana movement ("Weed Inequality," Luther Campbell, August 7) articulated two very important points: The legal cannabis industries (medical and recreational) have been devoid of representation from minorities. And at the same time, blacks and Latinos have borne the brunt of the War on Drugs. Luke knows about this truth anecdotally; he or his friends have probably lived that life. As for UL's statement that blacks don't have a stake in this conversation, he's right and he's wrong. First, he's terribly wrong because the conversation about medical marijuana affects all of us. Cancer doesn't give a damn whom you voted for or what race you are. However, he does have a point when it comes to who can become a business owner in the medical marijuana industry. If the rules are written so that nonviolent drug offenders cannot be employed or own a business in the medical marijuana industry, they'll have no choice but to remain in the black market. This would defeat one of the goals of cannabis law reform: removing the black market. Most of these men and women would enjoy the chance to go legit, because incarceration and a felony charge would suck big time. Wiseguy


Correction

A story about the Area Stage production of the musical Sweeney Todd ("The Fleet Street Boys," John Thomason, August 7) incorrectly reported the actors' age. The show is performed by high school and college students.


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