Friday, March 31, 2006

Beware the Feral Llama

At the insistence of the powers-that-be (a.k.a. Michelle), I must report that llamas have overrun the White Mountain National Forest in Western Maine, and are crowding out the whitetail deer. As this week's Bethel Citizen explains under the sub-heading "Just give me Jack Daniels whiskey and something to shoot," the U.S. Forest Service has authorized a hunting season for the animals.
Most of the details of the hunt have now been worked out and are expected to be announced at Saturday’s press conference.

But two key questions are still the focus of hot debate: How many permits will be issued? And how long will the hunt last?

Local biologists had recommended that no more than 100 permits be granted and the hunt limited to the first week in November.


But 100 permits were far too few to sate the feeding frenzy that ensued — soon the proposed number of permits for, and days in, the hunt were ballooning faster than the federal budget deficit.

At this point, insiders’ best guesses are that on Saturday the Forest Service will announce a plan to issue 1,000 permits, for a hunt that will last from Halloween to the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

And because the National Forest is regarded as a national resource, awarding of all permits will be handled from Washington. There will be no local allocation.
If indeed this is the "call of the wild llama," even the most ardent PETA member should support the extermination of the species.

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