While many new students might be completely unaware, there are about four dozen free-roaming bison hidden on the 21,000 acres of Paynes Prairie.
These bison have taken advantage of our kindness for far too long and brazenly flaunt the rules and regulations that make Gainesville a tolerant college town — and for that they deserve to die.
I, for one, applaud commissioner Mike Byerly and Paynes Prairie officials for doing something proactive to stop what might possibly become a nuisance to a number of rich people.
Like a ticking time bomb, one of the bison could escape into the fancy subdivisions that have popped up next to the protected land and knock over garbage cans and fences.
The wealthy Gainesvillians who built their homes right next to Paynes Prairie have a reasonable expectation of privacy against, you know, nature.
On top of those totally valid concerns, Paynes Prairie workers don’t need to be fixing wooden fences out in the sweltering Florida heat.
Overtaxed as they are with a heavy workload of mural making and quiet sitting, Paynes Prairie employees clearly don’t have the manpower to deal with bison.
Having exploited a misguided plan in the 1970s to restore Paynes Prairie to a more natural state, these conniving quadrupeds snuck off into the tall grasses and sandy scrub-pine forests to engage in reckless bison sex and have anchor babies that are a drain on our natural resources.
Beyond this nefarious baby making, though, lies an even deeper issue that continues to vex public officials in our progressive and cultured hamlet — the damn bison never hang around the observation deck.
We built an observation deck to be able to enjoy the damn wildlife in our midst, and they run off and act all wild.
It’s as if these bison can’t even read the clearly marked signs that point visitors toward the observation areas, or that they flat out refuse to speak English.
After opening up our hearts to these animals, they don’t even have the common courtesy to learn our national language and embrace our city’s easygoing, liberal culture.
Dead or alive, these ungrateful animals need to be carted off our huge nature preserve.
Well, the plan calls for us to save a few female bison and pen them up in a tiny area so they can be seen from the observation deck.
This seems like a fair compromise, as long as the females remain submissive and pose for the tourists.
Kudos to David Jowers, the Paynes Prairie manager who has been trying to kill off the unruly wild animals in his park for a few years.
My only problem with his plan is he’s giving away all that free-roaming, plausibly organic bison meat for nothing.
As I’m sure Jowers and Byerly know all too well, a slice of bison on the dinner table beats a herd in the wild any day.
Tommy Maple is an international communications graduate student. His column appears every Tuesday.