A growing population of urban prairie dogs has some local Buddhists facing tough issues with that whole reincarnation thing.

One of the best parts of Buddhism is the all-out insistence that you don’t slaughter anything. Ideally, in practicing it, you develop a soft appreciation for the myriad flora and fauna around you, and learn to quiet the pervasive, yet deeply subconscious desire for murder you were so kindly imbued with by evolution.

So then, you can imagine the extreme irony of Naropa University’s plan to systematically kill the hundreds of prairie dogs living on its downtown Boulder campus. Huh … and here we thought crusading was a Christian thing.

The university has been scrambling to resolve its prairie dog problem for a while now; at least 250 prairie dogs have burrowed and altered the landscape of its peaceful little campus. Murdering them in blatant violation of their religious principles wasn’t really the first option on their list, but now, it seems to be the only one.

Through the past four years, the university has exhausted their own resources looking for a new location to transplant the prairie dog population. The vast 2,000 acre prairie dog habitat set aside by the city of Boulder seemed like the most logical site; however, city officials quickly nixed this idea, saying the habitat was already ‘full.’ Damn … even the prairie pups are feeling the Colorado housing squeeze.

According to CBS Denver, the university is now left with no other option but to apply for a permit to slaughter the colony on its campus, hoping it will raise public awareness. The idea of pacifists clubbing prairie dogs has brought plenty of public attention to the issue.

“The first precept of Buddhism is to not harm another living being,” claims Deanna Meyer with Wildlands Defense.

Bill Rigler, Director of University Relations, puts the blame solely on government officials saying: “Naropa has done more than any other landowner that we know of in the state of Colorado to secure a viable relocation. We’ve spent four years, we’ve spent nearly $100,000 for identifying a relocation site.”

Rigler feels Naropa has been unjustly stigmatized. According to CBS, Rigler says it bought the land long before the prairie dogs moved in to expand with its student population projected to grow 50 percent in the next 5 years.

“It’s not us displacing the prairie dogs, it’s that we have been displaced by the prairie dogs,” Rigler continued.

Weirdly, according to a petition Wildlands Defense gave Naropa, the vast majority of support for not killing the animals is from outside Boulder, and even outside Colorado.

“While we really appreciate the insights from our friends who are not from Boulder,” Rigler notes “these complaints sound a little bit like Donald Trump telling the pope to be more Catholic.”

Boom. Roasted.

At this time, Naropa still hasn’t decided if it will use the permit to kill the prairie dogs even if it’s granted.

Is it any wonder the Dali Lama canceled his Boulder lecture on Friday? Something seems a little fishy, and for the first time, it’s not the CU-Boulder campus on 4/20.