On May 5 I hosted a protest outside of the offices of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Augusta. There are a couple of clarifications I would like to make regarding the department’s response.

First, several complaints have been filed against DEW Haven in the past three years. I know of at least four last year and have the correspondence between the department that proves it. I made an Freedom of Information Act request for the results of these complaints several months ago, and the department is still stalling in getting that information to me.

Regarding the shooting of Baghwa the lion, if there was an investigation days after his death, where is the information regarding the results? In a former FOIA request there was no mention of the escape and shooting of this lion. Are they saying the public does not have the right to know about an escaped male lion, mauling of the owner, and the lion’s shooting death?

Also, why after repeated requests about information on this lion, they wait until the day of the protest to tell the world they previously investigated yet do not show documents to back it up? Even if the lion was investigated, why was it days after the accident the department was supposedly told and why was owner Bob Miner not cited for leaving a gate unlatched?

Something doesn’t add up.

Kristina Snyder

Chester, N.H.

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