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Thinking Twice About Saving Mice

April 10, 2002

Re "These Endangered Mice Will Have It Nice," April 7: I have read recent articles about flawed federal wildlife biologists' reports, and now officials admit their mouse numbers may be up for debate? With this in mind, a developer is having to set aside 24 acres of ocean-view real estate--Dana Point Headlands, worth $30 million--for six Pacific pocket mice.

Let me do the math on this one: four acres at $5 million per mouse! These six are critical to the Pacific pocket mouse population in California--there are only 1,000 of them in another area (north of the Santa Margarita River). I wonder what these mouse-counting and mouse-management programs are costing U.S. taxpayers.

I think back to the times my faithful old cat Max would present me with the results of his latest hunting expedition. Max must have exterminated at least $20 million worth; I think I am protected admitting this. The statute of limitations probably has run out, and the killer Max is now in cat heaven. However, after seeing recent court cases concerning animals, killing a $5-million mouse. . . . They wouldn't, would they? It's a mouse--a mouse!

Bill Conroy

Northridge

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