Adorable Deer Mice Being Slaughtered Just Because They Carry a Deadly Virus

We already knew that Yosemite's hantavirus outbreak had been linked to its deer mouse population, but who knew deer mice were so precious?

And now, in the interest of public safety or whatever, nature's Pixar characters are being rounded up and killed. I guess the lives of 22,000 people who may have come into contact with the virus are more important than some rodents. Logically, I get it.

On the other hand, look at that deer mouse.

According to Danielle Buttke, veterinary epidemiologist for the National Park Service, this is actually good for the environment.

From an ecological perspective, it appears that there was an unnaturally high population of rodents in the area. We are being proactive and reducing the population.

Look, nature is full of harsh realities: sometimes cute things need to die. But let's be real, "being proactive and reducing the population" is a nice way of saying "deer mouse genocide."

Remember, the deer mice are the real victims in all of this. You know, aside from the people who contracted hantavirus.

[Image via Shutterstock]