Residents angered over states plan to get rid of troublesome goats, sheeps

File photo from KHON2's archives

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Shoot to kill!

That’s the state’s plan to eliminate wild sheep and goats at a Makapuu hillside. It’s the first time it was done in that area and it’s drawing fire from residents.

Residents say seeing the animals being gunned down was bad enough. But they also saw someone butchering a sheep right on the beach.

“I don’t know what’s going on. It was upsetting, really upsetting,” one woman said.

She did not want to show her face on camera, but she can’t get over what she saw Thursday morning.

“It was pretty horrible. We saw an injured animal try to cross a path with rocks after being shot like five times,” the woman said.

The state conducted a controlled hunt at the area and killed 10 sheep.

Some residents also saw one of the sheep being butchered in plain view on the beach.

“My grandchildren usually come with me and it just so happened that they didn’t come with me. And if they did come with me and they saw, this they would be devastated,” area resident Cathy Marciel said.

The state says goats and sheep are causing erosion as well as damaging the watershed.

“They’ll eat it right down to the ground, so you get bare areas and also just from the tramping and the hooves and traversing through an area, they’ll create trails and bare spot,” Division of Forestry and Wildlife branch manager David Smith said.

Smith says the controlled hunt was approved by area landowners and the Koolau Mountains Watershed Partnership. But as far as having someone butcher an animal on the beach, that was not part of the plan.

“We tried to salvage the meat because it’s kind of a hunter’s ethic thing to salvage meat whenever possible, so one of them was given to a person who acted with less than great discretion,” Smith said.

Smith says that will not happen again. Residents say the public should have been warned in advance. Smith says the landowners were notified as well as Honolulu Police.

As far as other options such as setting traps instead of killing the animals, Smith says the terrain is too steep for that.

“So getting in there with any other kind of apparatus or some other operation extremely difficult,” Smith said.

There are more sheep and goats up there, so Smith says hunters will go there again to shoot them down.

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