Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Urban Desert… War on Wildlife – Part 1 of 3

(See Part 2, 3 and Conclusion here)

The War

The Star’s “Fixer” had a column today on an individual wanting a natural habitat in the Hydro corridor (actually near me) cut down ‘because of snakes’. Unbelievable, simply unbelievable – I am so SICK of the war on wildlife being waged in this city.

Each year, the metropolitan area gobbles up hectare after hectare of arable land, filling it with industrial waste and cookie cutter boxes of houses destroying the environment not only in terms of the land it paves over, but in terms of air pollution from the thousands of cars which commute from further and further distances. (and the subject of another rant, in so doing- due to the massive increase in car traffic, now there is a huge war on CYCLISTS).

Inside the city proper, I watch in disbelief as even the smallest little piece of land is quickly bought up then developed to a ridiculous degree – to a point, in fact, that would have been considered dangerous a few years ago. A small matchbox piece of land on a road near me with a SINGLE family home was bought and 14 TOWNHOUSES were put on it – then people complain when displaced creatures, desperately just trying to live, willing to adapt and just get on with their lives becomes an issue.

We share our limited space here in the city with a variety of wildlife. Coyotes, foxes, racoons, skunks, squirrels, snakes and even opossums, among them. These animals are simply trying to exist, to live their limited lives in the confines of unnatural civilization. They do not consciously choose to piss people off; they do not consciously decide to cause damage or irritate or scare anyone – they simply are – that is the thing about animals – they just ARE.

Yet, when the baby racoon was slashed and bashed with a shovel by an irate homeowner, the comments in the Star overall exonerated the man and excused this horrific behaviour. When the coyotes in the Ravine in the Guild did what coyotes DO and snatched “prey” which happened to be a very small dog, the knives came out and the raucous voice of the mob was heard “KILL THEM”.

We have a moral obligation to SHARE our space – it is we who have displaced the wildlife, not the other way around.

There are many ways and means to peacefully co-exist.

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