Letter: Chirikof Island cows are living history; leave them alone

Rachel D’Oro of The Associated Press painted quite the dreary picture of the lives lead by the Chirikof Island cattle herd. These poor abandoned cattle eking out a bleak existence on a far flung Alaska island sure contrasted nicely with the file pictures of the actual cattle on the island. Those cows live in what I can only assume is a cow wonderland. An island 5 by 10 miles wide covered in grass with no natural predators, humans or fences.

While I have no doubt that the cattle are hard on the bird population I find the history and story of these cows much more valuable than a natural bird population at pre-bovine counts. This herd has persevered for many years on Chirikof, first as provisions for whalers and then as a formal cattle herd. In any case much of their existence has been without direct human care.

As to archeological remains on the island, these cows are living history; let them be in their home.

— Jon Cannon