'He Bragged How He Loved to Shoot Anything': Cats Shot Dead at US Air Force Base in South Korea
14:34 GMT 05.06.2022 (Updated: 14:36 GMT 05.06.2022)
While the felines were apparently shot under the auspices of a programme aimed at preventing birds and animals from posing a threat to aircraft safety, it looks like even creatures that did not pose a risk to aircraft were killed.
A number of feral cats ended up being shot dead by military personnel at the US Air Force’s Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, The Korea Herald reports.
According to the newspaper, the cats were shot with pellet guns by personnel participating in the Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Striking Hazard (BASH) programme, a person who participated in the effort back in 2020 explained.
“The man in charge at the time openly bragged to me how he loved to shoot anything because he was authorized to do so, and he especially liked trying to get the cats”, the person who provided the tip said.
While the goal of BASH is to prevent birds and animals from presenting a threat to aircraft safety, the newspaper’s source claimed that even creatures that did not pose a risk to the planes were killed.
“I found the cat about a mile from the aircraft flight line, meaning it didn’t pose any risk to aircraft, and because it was near the populated part of the base, it never should’ve been shot there”, the source said.
The newspaper also notes that about a week ago, South Korean media reported that about 10 feral cats were shot dead at another US Air Force base in the country, the Osan Air Base.
Blow Darts in Hawaii
Meanwhile, a Hawaii-based animal rescue organisation called KAT Charities expressed concern that some US troops stationed in the state may be connected to several instances of local cats being injured and mutilated.
KAT Charities suggests that soldiers appear to be using blow darts to shoot at cats around the Schofield Army Barracks, with the organisation’s founder Dr Karen Tyson saying that they’ve seen a number of cats “with darts in them”, according to KHON-TV.
“It is our understanding that a group of soldiers… purchased blow dart guns while on a recent training mission to Indonesia and brought them home to Hawaii”, Tyson said.
She also said that two cats were found near a Popeyes restaurant by the base with their stomachs split open and organs spilling out.
“While extremely graphic, we believe it is important to note that the animals appeared to have been purposefully mutilated as opposed to accidentally hit by a car”, Tyson remarked.
A spokesperson for US Army Garrison Hawaii told the media outlet that they’ve already been made aware of the reports and are launching an investigation into them.
16 May, 19:43 GMT
“This type of behavior is not tolerated on the installation and is not in keeping with our Army values”, the spokesperson said.