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ocelot josh beckettocelot josh beckett

MLB Pitcher Sues Pipeline Company Over Endangered Cat Habitat

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Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett is going on the offensive against a pipeline company accused of destroying habitat crucial to the survival of the endangered ocelot.

The 32-year-old has filed a lawsuit against Eagle Ford Shale, after the pipeline company bulldozed a stretch of land on Beckett’s 7,000 acre South Texas ranch in apparent disregard to federal law. Even more aggravating – it was all done despite suggested alternative routes by ranch reps.

From My San Antonio:

The notice of intent to sue stated that “multiple big cat tracks” were located and photographed as recently as June, and Beckett observed ocelots on his property as recently as November.

Michael Tewes, a large-cat expert from the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, visited the ranch after the pipeline corridor was cleared and identified ocelot habitat, including where the pipeline would be built.

“They started bulldozing for 10 days,” said environmental lawyer Jim Blackburn, who is representing Beckett Ventures, which owns the Herradura Ranch. “I think it is an arrogant move of a company that is relatively dismissing of federal law.”

The ocelot, which relies upon small areas of dense thicket for survival  is estimated to have a population of only 50 in the U.S. The organization Environmental Defense and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been working for years with landowners to improve habitat and increase populations of the small, wild cat.

Eagle Ford Shale has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

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  • Sarah

    One thing that should be noted here (but isn’t), is that the “ranch” Beckett owns is a canned hunt – a fenced enclosure where Beckett stocks trophy animals for people to shoot for high fees and guaranteed kills. Although it’s good he’s trying to protect critical habitat for the endangered ocelot, we should be careful before giving him too many props. After all, canned hunts in Texas frequently stock endangered species for customers to shoot.

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