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Letters to the editor, July 30

Nobody listening

Recently there has been a lot in the news about rich people shooting an endangered animal because he was old (They call themselves hunters but, in reality, they are just shooters).

Fifty years ago, I lived in southern New Mexico. In the summer I would hunt jack rabbits in the desert. It was target practice, but we called it hunting. We left them because they might have the disease tularemia. When you need a reason to do something, any reason will do.

As I was leaving, gun in hand, my 6-year-old nephew stopped me and asked me what I was doing. I said “I'm going rabbit hunting.” He said, “What did those rabbits ever do to you?” I went hunting anyway, but I missed every shot.

I never hunted again. I did not have the courage to tell a 6-year-old boy that I shot rabbits only because I could. Nothing more. Just target practice and left them either dead or dying in the desert.

I can still hear the scream of the rabbits when they were hit. They have an eerie sound that combines pain, fear (or maybe better, terror). Generally, it is one long scream and then it is over. It is one of those sounds that, once you have heard it, you never forget.

I wonder if rhinos, cheetahs, leopards and other prime target animals scream when they are hit? My guess is they do, but nobody is listening.

Bill Reed,