To begin with, we are talking about an animal,not a human being. While I agree that another system would be better, lets don't lose too much sleep over this. By testing this predator for rabies is to err on the side of caution. If it is determined that rabies is present, it poses a significant risk to humans. Since man is more important by far than animals are, that should be the over riding factor. Don't get caught up in an unrealistic idea of what this cat is. It is not your lap cat. It is not a barn cat, it is a wild animal and as such, is unpredictable and therefore very dangerous.
Re: Sick lynx in west Quebec put down
While you do have to kill an animal to test brain tissue for rabies, there was absolutely no valid reason to suspect this animal had rabies, given that rabies is virtually non-existent in lynx. The lynx's behaviour was not that of a sick animal, only one that was starving and forced to take measures to find food such as hovering around a groundhog burrow where it was first noticed by cyclists.
As for the lynx not reacting in fear with respect to the cyclists this would not be unusual for an intelligent animal that has not experienced any threat from the hundreds of cyclists that go through the park each day.
The NCC's comment that the lynx posed a public safety threat by stalking mice on the road is pretty silly given the real safety risks involved in vehicles and cyclists sharing the parkway's narrow winding roads with many blind spots. We don't drive on the parkway for that reason, having seen several near misses.
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It is irrational fear of wildlife and nature that is unrealistic and harmful. The facts simply don't support the decision to have euthanized the lynx. As for rabies, there has been only one lynx that tested positive for this disease in almost 15 years in Canada and that was in the NWT. The regulatory agency (CFIA) which is responsible for testing animals reports on average 5 dogs per year test positive for rabies. In the City of Ottawa alone there are over 350 reported dog bites reported annually. Lynx, none. We don't consider dogs dangerous so where is the logic in considering lynx dangerous?
Here is the response from a well-known Canadian naturalist: "The NCC claims the lynx was emaciated yet it was 15 pounds. Small adults can be only a few pounds heavier than this and who is to say if this was even an adult (a young lynx would be bolder and lighter in weight than an adult). Such a disgusting shame that an animal this rare would be killed by the people who are paid to protect the natural resources of the National Capital Region".
We should be celebrating and protecting biodiversity in places like Gatineau Park, one of the few places left for wild species, not so quickly turning to lethal solutions out of irrational fear and a lack of knowledge.