When predation meets profits

Since the first fox stole a Pilgrim’s chicken there have been conflicts between humans and predators looking for an easy meal in America.

We lost chickens to hawks and coyotes and sweet corn to raccoons on our family farms for generations in eastern Kansas. Some years we lose a significant percentage of our farm’s soybean crop to deer.

But that’s nothing compared to what’s happening to a South Dakota business that has ospreys eating some very expensive trout.

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It’s hard to fault the birds, finding hundreds of trout stacked thick in gin-clear water.  It’s hard to fault the business owner who’s seeing $10,000 or more annually leave his pay-t0-fish operation in the talons of birds for wanting something done about the problem.

Federal law, obviously, says he can’t take lethal measures. Nobody has offered a workable solution or to reimburse him for his losses…and those are some serious losses.

It’s an interesting problem, the kind that may become increasingly common in the future.