Euthanizing the gray fox that roamed the Village of Arroyo Grande should have been the last resort. Instead, it appears it was the first.
USDA Wildlife Services captured and destroyed the fox — which has become something of a mascot for Arroyo Grande — after someone complained that it had killed chickens belonging to a resident.
At this point, that’s about as much as we know.
We are told that state law prohibits relocation of wild animals except in special circumstances.
Doesn’t this qualify as a special circumstance? This fox was beloved, and its destruction has horrified and sickened the many people who have been following its story. They’re asking why the animal couldn’t have been placed with a wildlife rescue organization and perhaps used in educational programs.
If wildlife officials truly made absolutely no effort to place this beautiful animal with a rescue group — and we don’t know that for sure, because the USDA hasn’t spoken with us yet — that’s an outrage deserving of a trap full of brickbats.
Either way, we believe the USDA owes the people of Arroyo Grande some answers.