REDNECK PERSPECTIVE: Chisler 348 death causes outrage

By on November 18, 2014

111914redneck.leadJackson Hole, Wyoming – Wildlife watchers and photographers are questioning why a yearling male Uinta Ground Squirrel, locally known as Chisler 348, was euthanized by Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials.

Chisler 348 had been a favorite of visitors and locals alike. Clusters of photographers were often seen at the Snake River overlook where Chisler 348 was known to frequent. According to Game and Fish Department supervisor Dan Thompson, the chisler had been receiving food rewards and displayed territorial tendencies. In at least one instance, Chisler 348 acted in a predatory, aggressive fashion toward photographers attempting to get him to model the classic “puffy-cheek-full-of-food” pose.

According to witnesses at the scene, Chisler 348 attacked after being offered a vegan raw food beet taco with fennel seed and cabbage purchased from Healthy Being Juicery rather than the Persephone Bakery sticky cinnamon buns the photographers were munching on. Thompson said the photographers showed an astonishing lack of sensitivity to the instinctive tendencies of wild animals and seemed to have forgotten that man is the visitor in their habitat.

“You got a bun made with piles of butter, sugar and flour and yet you offer a beet taco with fennel seed and cabbage?” asked Thompson. “They’re lucky the attack was limited to a single rogue chisler.”

Chisler management has been the subject of criticism even before the death of Chisler 348. Urocitellus armatus, the name biologists use when referring to chislers so everyone knows they’ve been to college, are typically shy animals who prefer to keep to themselves, or at least out of .22 rifle range. Yet in recent years, chislers living near roadsides have lost their natural fear of people, due in no small part to photographers seeking images of the wily creature that to many symbolizes the West.

According to Interagency Chisler Committee guidelines, created by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are three conditions used to determine whether a chisler is dubbed a nuisance animal.

One condition is if a chisler depredates Cheetos. “We have found that once a chisler becomes habituated to Cheetos there is really no hope,” Thompson explained.

Another condition is if a chisler has displayed aggressive, non-defensive behavior. “This often happens when anything made by ‘Little Debbie’ is involved,” Thompson further elucidated.

The last condition is if an animal has caused substantial human injury or the loss of life. “While rare, it does happen,” Thompson admitted. “When humans come between a chisler and a Frito, chislers can become deadly.”

Comments have poured in to the recently created Facebook page, “Chisler 348, His Life and Death.” Most posts blame Game and Fish for the death of Chisler 348, but others are more reflective.

“Last summer was my first in trip Grand Teton Park,” a Vermont woman lamented. “Seeing Chisler 348 was the highlight of our trip. He’s gone now but I will never forget the way he ate Doritos out of my hand.”

Donations to the Rocky Mountain Chisler Foundation may be made in Chisler 348’s name.

About Clyde Thornhill

You must be logged in to post a comment Login