Jeffrey L. Frischkorn takes you with him as he chronicles his outdoors adventures around Northeast Ohio and beyond.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
(UPDATED last four paragraphs) Maine's fish and wildlife agency jacklighted by "The Animal Planet"
Maine’s state wildlife officials were none too pleased
that the non-network network Animal Planet opined for the abolishment of
so-called big-game trophy hunting.
Even more horrifying for Maine’s Department of Inland
Fisheries and Wildlife was that Animal Planet’s on-line website encouraged
readers to contribute to two of the so-called animal rights movement’s most
outspoken anti-hunting groups: The Humane Society of the United States and the
International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Why any of this should honk off Maine’s fish and wildlife
managers and game wardens is because one of the Animal Planet highly touted and
prestigious weekly program is “North Woods Law.”
This one-hour-long weekly program (new episodes are aired
on Sundays) focuses on Maine’s game warden service.
Consequently, for the Animal Planet to air on a weekly
basis the daily interactions of Maine’s game wardens with lawful an unlawful
sportsmen and sportswomen and then advocate not only abolishing trophy hunting
but also pitching a plea for donations to the HSUS and the IFAW has – on the
surface at least - proved over the top for that state’s fish and wildlife
Such is particularly true since the Animal Planet made an
anti-trophy hunting sales pitch during its August 2nd North Woods
Fueling insult to injury the HSUS even largely bankrolled
last fall’s failed attempt at the ballot box to outlaw several forms of Maine’s
black bear hunting.
The Animal Planet’s “Animals Are Not Trophies/This is why
Cecil’s Death Matters” statement – which is still being posted on-line as of
this writing – says in part: “(The) Animal Planet is outraged and heartbroken
by the recent killing of Cecil the lion.
“The network strongly opposes the deplorable practice of
trophy hunting, asserting that it devastate conservation efforts, reduces
wildlife populations and weakens the populations’ gene pools.”
If that statement were not enough than the string of
readers’ comments about the possibility of poaching of Cecil was even more
One commenter said Cecil’s death was “murder” while the
Minnesota dentist accused of the act – Dr. Walter James Palmer - is “white
trash” and who should be “hung.”
None of which pleased Maine’s Department of Inland
Fisheries and Wildlife.
Latti, Outreach and Communications official
with Maine’s Fisheries /Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said he had not seen
the Animal Planet’s August 2nd episode with its anti-trophy-hunting
public service announcement.
Nor had Latti taken a gander at the Animal Planet’s web
site that prominently displays its position paper on the subject. And this
position statement still resides alongside the Animal Planet’s promotion of
“North Woods Law.”
“I can tell you that the Department
of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has contacted the production company of the
show to voice our serious concerns with the placement and content of Animal
Planet’s statement including the online links to the Humane Society of the
United States and other animal welfare organizations that are opposed to all
types of hunting.” Latti said.
“We are working to fix this
situation, and either (I) or another member of the department will be in touch
in the near future to provide you with an update.”
said, as of this writing the Animal Planet’s web page layout and content still
highlights an unchanged “Animals Are Not Trophies” commentary.
Going further, the on-line “Channel Guide Magazine” web
site said that the Animal Planet presented “World Lion Day” programming August 10
as “a marathon of lion-related” shows that will be “dedicated to Cecil the
“..(Animal) Planet’s campaign ‘AnimalsAreNotTrophies.com’
is a resource for those who want to take action against trophy hunting and
poaching,” Channel Guide Magazine quotes the Animal Planet as saying.
“Cecil’s senseless slaughter is a vivid reminder of how
vulnerable these magnificent animals are to human threats.”
And yet with all of this being said the web site for Maine’s
Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife does not yet at least include any
commentary addressing the agency’s concerns.
on Animal Planet’s “This is why Cecil the Lion’s Death Matters’” commentary by
a Jodi Westrick, the non-network network not only includes “North Woods Law” as
a “tag” item but likewise includes a coupling to a North Woods Law segment entitled
“Deer Bait Leads To Evidence of Poaching.”
of August 19, presumably after the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and
Wildlife contacted the Animal Planet to express its “serious concerns” and was
working “to fix the situation.”
rebranded Columbus-based “Sportsmen’s Alliance” – formerly United States Sportsmen’s Alliance –
did not return with a reply regarding an inquiry pertaining to this matter.
Jeff is the retired News-Herald reporter who covered the earth sciences, the area's three county park systems and the outdoors for the newspaper. During his 30 years with The News-Herald Jeff was the recipient of more than 125 state, regional and national journalism awards. He also is a columnist and features writer for the Ohio Outdoor News, which is published every other week and details the outdoors happenings in the state.