The Controversial Coexistence at Campus
The Controversial Coexistence at Campus
  • Reporter Lee Jun-yong
  • 승인 2017.09.06 13:00
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The POSTECH campus is located on the mid-slope of a mountain, being a nest to a variety of wildlife. The birds are notorious for disturbing the sleep of Postechians, who burn their midnight oil. Numerous insects fly across the campus day and night. However, none of these wild neighbors have spurred up a debate as fierce as stray cats.
There are many stray cats living on campus. The most famous is ‘Chil-ppal’, a spotted white cat. Famous for her friendliness toward humans, she appears near the seventy-eight stairs in the morning, greeting Postechians. ‘Oh-ryuk’, a young orange tabby tomcat seems to follow her recently. Apart from them, there are plenty of others living in the residential area. A she-cat and her kittens can be often spotted near the Residential College building, while a black cat has been spotted near the third dorm building. Other cats live on the campus, each of them having their own territory.
The cats’ cuteness and their amiability seem to have successfully stolen a lot of Postechians’ hearts. From affection, some Postechians feed the cats, depositing food at particular sites or feeding them cat food on their encounter. However humane the action is, this aroused a controversy at the ‘Postech Bamboo Grove’.
Cats tend to make a lot of noise during mating or fighting, usually over their territory, and since a lot of cats live near the residential area, students have been complaining about being disturbed in their sleep. Moreover, to students who are allergic to animal fur and to students who fear the wild animals, cats living near their home can be very annoying.
To Postechians who are experiencing discomfort from the cats, they find the cats and the colleagues who are feeding them disturbing. They complain about the displeasure they are encountering, and urge the feeders to relocate the feeding spots away from residential areas. Some even threaten to apply extreme measures on the cats. The cat-loving students are trying to minimize the discomfort, by taking measures such as moving the feeding spots away from the dormitories, but as cats are territorial animals, simply moving their diner away is not sufficient enough to improve the situation.
While the school currently does not have any policies or facilities concerning the cats living on campus, some students are personally trying to solve the complicated situation. The most notable effort is TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return). One of the students applied TNR to Chil-ppal, sterilizing her. Although there are doubts about the method, TNR seems like a reasonable solution. Simply taking the cats away would only be effective in the short term, useless after other cats have settled in the area. TNR returns the cat to its area after sterilization, allowing the cat to claim its territory again, but with less noise than before, due to no demand for mating.