Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Editorial: What happened to the elk?

Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Editorial Board

Editorial: 

What happened to the elk?

Editorials reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board, as determined by the members of the board, the editorial page editor and the publisher.

Tuesday’s Tribune dished up a mystery: What killed three elk on display in the Cook County Forest Preserve District’s Busse Woods last fall?

First reaction: Wait. The forest preserve has captive elk?

Second: Why?

Before we are inundated with calls and emails from animal lovers, let us stipulate that we are elk fans — if those elk roam the wild, where they belong.

The small herd of Busse Woods elk, however, munches and meanders in a 17-acre enclosed pen with an open pasture and shady woodlands. The elk are a popular attraction for local families — and a tradition since the first elk were transported from Yellowstone in 1925.

County officials say they aren’t sure what caused the deaths of the three elk, part of a six-member herd, the Tribune’s Gregory Pratt reported. Autopsies were inconclusive. But officials suspect the elk died of dehydration because the county’s elk-keepers didn’t give them enough water.

Related: Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials aren’t sure why »

The upshot: Two workers were punished. One was suspended for eight days. Another got a written reprimand for negligence and not providing enough water to the elk. Two other workers were not disciplined.

So that’s four — count ’em, four — workers who apparently could have, would have, should have made sure the animals were cared for. And four workers who apparently failed.

Cook County Commissioner Timothy Schneider, whose district includes Elk Grove Village and Busse Woods, says the county was too lenient in disciplining the workers. “Their job was to count to six every day and carry a bucket of water,” he tells us. “It’s as simple as that. They couldn’t even do that.”

We can’t help but hear the echo of generations of parents warning children that if they couldn’t care for a pet dog/cat/fish/lizard, then they couldn’t have one. Seems like Cook County has proved that it can’t handle the responsibility of elk care.

So what now? District officials say they’ll replenish the herd by bringing more elk from Texas later this fall. But Schneider says the district shouldn’t bring in more elk until officials can better publicly explain why those elk died last year. We agree. And we’ll go a step further than Schneider: We think the forest preserve should care for what remains of the herd until it expires, then get out of the business of keeping captive elk. The animals are better off roaming in the wild, where they can find their own food and water instead of relying on humans. The forest preserve isn’t a zoo.

Join the discussion on Twitter @Trib_Ed_Board and on Facebook.

Submit a letter to the editor here or emailletters@chicagotribune.com.



Recent Headlines

Old Cook County Hospital on track to become next city landmark
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Free Radioactive Radon Test Kits From Cook County
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Toni Preckwinkle and county watchdog at odds over political travel reimbursements
Friday, January 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County judges — one cleared of gun charge, one reassigned for anger management — to return to bench at criminal court
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

It's been a bad decade for property taxes
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Bond court reform has not put more violent offenders back on the street
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Glenview pushes minimum wage, paid sick leave discussion to next week
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

How Fritz Kaegi Plans to Transform the Cook County Assessor’s Office
Friday, January 04, 2019
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Cook County Health recognizes Cervical Health Awareness Month
Friday, January 04, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

2 neighborhood courthouses close: 'You’re discouraging citizens from going to court'
Friday, January 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Campaign money tied to Ald. Edward Burke’s alleged extortion scheme was intended for County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, sources say
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County, parking operators in dispute over possibly millions in back taxes that could leave consumers pinched
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle pursues back taxes from parking lot operators
Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

30K Cook County homeowners to get $8.3M in automatic property tax refunds
Monday, December 31, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

2019 preview: Glenview to consider minimum wage
Monday, December 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

'If I can do this, you can do this': Cook County judges inspire students of similar backgrounds
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

The Price Tag Of Freedom For Hundreds Of Non-Violent Cook County Inmates Is Less Than $2,000
Thursday, December 27, 2018
CBS Chicago

Give the Gift of Nature
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Why those 19 inmates were in Cook County Jail
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Medical examiner slow to review cases of fired pathologist who missed a murder
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP