Nico Dauphine Resigns

According to the National Zoo’s Twitter feed and a comment posted on its Facebook page, “[Monday] the Smithsonian accepted Dr. Dauphine’s resignation; it was effective immediately.” I haven’t seen a statement anything more official looking from the National Zoo or the Migratory Bird Center.

Indeed, official statements seem to be remarkably scarce following Monday’s verdict. Where are all of Dauphine’s supporters? You know, the individuals and organizations that were so quick to cite her sloppy work when it suited their purpose (i.e., the witch-hunt against free-roaming cats), but that have remained—at least publicly—silent over the past few months.

Speaking of which… The Wildlife Society put out a peculiar statement today via its Making Tracks blog in which they seem to imply that the cats Dauphine attempted to poison had it coming to them because they “congregated near her building.” According to the statement, TWS “does not condone animal cruelty or illegal behavior of any kind”—but that’s hardly the same thing as condemning what was done in this case.

But that’s not all that’s missing. One expects more than “TWS cannot comment on this case” from a blog post called The Wildlife Society Responds to Dr. Dauphine Case on Attempted Animal Cruelty.

Of course, TWS was more than willing to offer Dauphine a platform earlier this year, when it published “Pick One: Outdoor Cats or Conservation” and “Follow the Money: The Economics of TNR Advocacy”—both of which demonstrated her willingness to put the witch-hunt ahead of the science (or even the basic information contained in an organization’s financial statements)—in a special section of The Wildlife Professional called “The Impact of Free Ranging Cats.”

So what’s changed?

On the other hand, what is there to say, really? The message is coming through loud and clear: Dauphine’s professional work on the subject of free-roaming cats—cited and promoted with great enthusiasm before all this nasty press attention—is as indefensible as the actions that landed her in DC Superior Court.


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