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You could use some humanity, New Times 

San Luis Obispo

I found your article on the Morro Bay Aquarium (“The aquatic anachronism,” May 17) disturbing, but not for the reasons stated by the author. I think New Times missed an opportunity to report on a subject which is far more complex than just how deep the pool is. I have known Dean Tyler for 50 years and his wife Bertha for almost that long. I know them to be very kind and caring for the animals they have collected.

Dean was a commercial abalone fisherman, and when the sea otter depleted the abalone resource to the point it would no longer support a fishery, Dean didn't turn on the sea otter; he and Bertha took in pups and, through hard work, figured out how to keep these animals alive. In these days, there wasn't much known about sea otter husbandry. The Tylers invented as they went along. There were no books on how to feed or groom a sea otter.

Comparisons were made in the article to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. However, it costs 20 times as much to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. For a few dollars, a family can see wild, and potentially dangerous animals, close up. Some people quoted in the article wanted the seals and sea lions released. This cannot happen. The ocean can be a very hostile environment, and these particular animals would not be able to fend for themselves.

If anything is threatening to marine mammals, in my opinion, it is the Marine Mammal Rescue Center down the road. California sea lions are above historic numbers. The weak and genetically inferior animals need to die off. This is nature’s way. But capturing, feeding, giving them antibiotics, and then releasing them is a detriment to the health of the population.

So, New Times, reconsider the damage you have done to two wonderful people. It's the humane thing to do.

-- Steven L. Rebuck - San Luis Obispo

-- Steven L. Rebuck - San Luis Obispo

Readers Poll

Do you think the SLO County Board of Supervisors should have gone against their policy that states funding for independent special districts should not result in a net fiscal loss to the county?

  • A. Yes, the housing and job opportunity the Dana Reserve is bringing is important
  • B. No, it's giving special privileges to the Nipomo Community Services District
  • C. I trust them, they know what's best for the county
  • D. What's going on?

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