Reindeer wasted

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1993:

While Alaskan officials pretend-
ed wolves had to be massacred so that
there would be enough caribou to feed
natives, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service in December quietly massacred
790 reindeer on Hagemeister Island, a
wildlife refuge 300 miles south of
Anchorage. Introduced by an Eskimo
rancher in 1965, the reindeer were endan-
gering native lichen. Nome medical doc-
tor Donald Olson (also an Eskimo) hired a
team to fly another 120 reindeer to safety
at an abandoned dairy farm. Natives were
given 172 reindeer carcasses; the rest
were left to rot. “It’s the worst wanton
waste case since the buffalo,” said tribal
elder Moses Kritz. At deadline, another
193 reindeer were slated for killing.
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