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ild Ways

by Dee Walmsley

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Editor's note: Dee has been writing for Clever for years now. Her compassion and knowledge about urban wildlife is amazing. We all need these constant reminders to respect urban wildlife and do everything we can to protect these animals. Our world is better when they are thriving.

How many times does one sing a song before hearing the words?

I’ve been writing about the plight of urban wildlife for ten years and in that time nothing has changed. People still trap squirrels and raccoons and think they are doing them a favour by relocating them into the nearest green belt when in fact they are imposing a death sentence on the animal. And, if the critter is sick or carrying a disease they are spreading those germs into another area.

Nature looks after her own. Watch the cycles of life. When the rabbit population is high coyote’s feast well, breed larger litters and thrive. Then the bunnies dwindle and they coyotes either die off from starvation or an over-population type disease like distemper thins their numbers and the cycle begins once again.

Squirrels and raccoons because they are cute soon learn to depend on humans for sustenance. However, when they move closer to their easy pickings they are seen as pests and must be killed or relocated.

We’ve all heard the story about putting one’s finger in a bucket of water, seeing the water displaced, removing the finger and all is back to the original setting.  Same thing happens with wild things. They own territories and are constantly seeking new ones therefore when you remove one another one sees the vacancy sign and moves in.

Ya gotta learn to co-exist folks!

If you don’t want wildlife in your yard, make it inhospitable. Screen all possible entries. Don’t feed anything - in your yard and that includes the family pet.

Oh, yes, my reason for singing my song…if you read the recent story about the raccoon carrying a leg-hold trap on its front paw…the paw, still in the trap was found caught in a crack on a local verandah. The raccoon will most likely have a much slower death now since it can no longer climb out of harms way. I can only wish the same fate for the trapper.

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