Re “Babbitt Favors Allowing Tribe to Take Eaglets,” Nov. 25: Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is a jerk and the Hopi Indians are guilty of cruelty to animals. How can Babbitt condone, or even allow, this cruelty just because it’s always been done?
The Hopis take the golden eaglet from its nest in May and the growing fledgling is kept outdoors, tethered at the leg. In July, it is sacrificed to the Hopi gods by being smothered with cornmeal.
The point of the article was that while this custom has been ongoing on lands that are not administered by the National Park Service, Babbitt’s ruling would make it legal in Wupatki National Monument in northern Arizona. Regardless of whether the golden eagle is endangered, protected or otherwise classified as at risk, this action should not be allowed anywhere. Cruelty is cruelty and has no justification. Period.