(Part 1, 2 and Conclusion here)
Lack of Recourse
Perhaps one of the most horrific realities of the lack of effort Toronto puts into co-existing with its wildlife is the LACK of recourse for injured or hurt wildlife.
This was brought home to me a while ago when I desperately sought a place to bring 8 orphaned bunnies.
My first port of call was Toronto Animal Services. While apologetic, they were clear that they deal only with domestic animals and as such, if I brought the bunnies in, they would be immediately euthanized. They were kind enough to give me the number to Toronto Wildlife Services – a completely volunteer-based group with not enough resources despite the caring, passionate people who man the trenches. (Although truth be told, their site promises far more than they can apparently give.)
Unfortunately, after they kindly called me back after leaving a message, they were clear that they had neither the resources nor the people to deal with small bunnies. They in turn pointed me in the direction of Procyon Wildlife in Beeton, Ontario.
I’m going to do a separate blog entirely on this incredibly wonderful, primarily volunteer-based wildlife services – they ROCK. They also, as founder and incredibly dedicated vet Dr. Cynthia Post said poignantly “may not be open this time next year” as she indicated that as the Centre runs entirely on donations they never know from year to year whether they have enough resources to continue.
So, I did in fact find a place but in so doing realized something awful – there is NOWHERE to go to within this huge city with all its resources to find help with the wildlife which co-exists with the individuals living here.
Seen by a large percentage of the population as “vermin”, racoons, skunks and squirrels are seen as the enemy. Labelled “killers”, coyotes and foxes simply doing what they do are increasingly under threat of being exterminated.
How moral is that? To know we do not exist in a vaccum? That, having displaced these living creatures, we now declare war on them and provide them with no place of refuge nor help when they inevitably come up against the concrete city?