Can you tell me how someone can hit a squirrel in a 40 km/hour zone? How about hitting ducks or turtles that are crossing a road. Really?
The ducks are large enough to be seen and not running every which way on the road, and a turtle moves so slowly you should never hit it. If any of these animals were a rock on the road you would stop, or avoid hitting it with your car.
Tillsonburg is built around ravines and we are fortunate to have a lot of trees, all of which creates a beautiful town and haven for all kinds of wildlife, from song birds to badgers and just about any species you can think of. Have people not figured this out yet that trees on both sides of the road will always be wildlife crossing zones? We have lakes or creeks on both sides of a road, like Lake Lisgar, or near Mill Tale Inn or even the Baldwin Street dam, where turtles climb all the way up to cross over. Remember every animal you hit has a 50% chance at being a mother with babies.
We love to attract beautiful birds to our yards so we feed them, which of course attracts other animals who like the seeds, like chipmunks, squirrels and mice. They also attract the animals that enjoy eating the birds and small mammals.
Did you know the decimation of song birds in North America is caused primarily by house cats Municipalities have been adding by-laws, like Tillsonburg’s, “No person shall permit any animal to run at large;” and “No person shall permit any animal to trespass on any property.” And now, because of the decline of song birds, they are now enforcing them with cats.
Bears, cougars, raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels and bobcats, like all other wildlife in southwestern Ontario, have fewer places to make their homes and establish a territory large enough to feed themselves and families, for we continue to decimate bushes, wetlands and meadows to build more houses and roads.
The smaller animals have moved into our neighbourhoods because we provide free accommodation and food. If you don’t want them in your attic, window wells, chimneys, shed or porch, you had better keep repairs up on your home and block access to those lovely, safe dark areas they like to live. Don’t wait until you have an animal in distress or you feel you have to kill them or trap them. Rabies Vector Species or RVS animals, like skunks, raccoons and fox adults cannot by law be taken more than 1 km, to stop the spread of diseases, and now that rabies is back in Ontario this needs to be adhered to. If you must trap the animal, see if it is a lactating mother and find the babies.
Now some people are more considerate and take Mom and all the babies to a ‘safe’ bush. The problem is that Mom cannot care and feed her babies, find or build a new home, hunt for food, and fight off others whose territory she just invaded. We have been told they will all die or be killed. You can get the Mom to move them to another den by using Pine Sol as they don’t like the smell. Call me at 519-842-9416 to learn more on this.
If you don’t want them on your property make sure there is no food, which includes bird seed, cat or dog food on the back porch and garbage is secure. Some animals can smell food for miles.
Coyotes have been in the news. Why do we have more of them than years ago? One big reason is that many of the large animal producing farms no longer pay to have dead stock removed. Instead, they have open pits where they toss the cows/pigs/chickens or whatever. This is like a social media alert or neon sign to coyotes that a free buffet just opened up.
No food, no coyotes.
Some small pets and dogs have been attacked by coyotes or bears. The hungrier the animal the further
For those who love wildlife… get rid of your lawns and put in ground cover and flowers and you will get bunnies, birds, butterflies, dragon flies, small mammals and assorted cool insects. We have a small pond in our back yard and this year have four frogs. There are so many ways to attract animals like frogs and bats that keep the mosquitoes and bugs down. Learn about nature, use common sense and you will find living with wildlife a most gratifying experience.
LAUREL BEECHEY – THE WORLD IS A STAGE