Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Wildlife and peoples perception (graphic images!)

I have been debating with myself to write or not to write. The fact of the matter is that it feels like a 'Dirty Little Secret' to me and I am not willing to keep it that way.

Last week I was brought a coyote pup. The pup was in horrendous shape. I commend the Animal Control Officer for taking the time to bring it out to see if there was anything I could do for the little pup.

The fact is that I have never seen such a serious case of Sarcoptic Mange in my whole life. The mange combined with a serious respiratory infection multiplied by severe dehydration, malnutrition and badly infected skin lesions as a result from scratching the mange.

The fact is that this little pup was laying unmoving on a green at a golf course for three whole days baking in the sun before someone finally decided to call animal control.

This leaves me to wonder how you step around this little creature and continue on playing your happy round of golf without giving this a second thought? I don't care if you love, hate or are indifferent to coyotes, but how can you be unmoved by this degree of suffering?

Imagine the response if this had been a dog?

I am hesitant to post these pictures due to their graphic and unpleasant nature, but I have decided that the only way to bring this out in the open is to show people what I mean. Needless to say after examining her I bestowed upon this little animal a final kindness by humanly euthanizing her and ending her unimaginable suffering.

This leaves me to ponder a point that often mystifies me. Would it have been different if instead of a coyote pup it had been a fawn? I have had multiple calls from golf courses i.r. fawns.

As humans we seem to have a clearly defined idea of what species of wildlife is deserving of our time and attention. A friend made a good point recently. He felt it was perceived intelligence that makes a human favor one type of wildlife over another. I dare say cuteness is also a factor or perception of an animal being considered a 'pest-species'. Does that make it OK for us to leave an animal to suffer?

As an example; I never have a problem finding volunteers to drive fawns, but it is nearly impossible to find drivers for Song Birds. What makes a fawn more deserving that a Song Bird? Do Song Birds hurt less when injured or sick?

On the brighter side, often people surprise me. Like the lady who drove from Owen Sound (three hour drive) to bring me a fawn that had been hit by a car, or the airplane pilot who was ready for take off in minutes after I made the call to go and pick up an other injured fawn.

My bad coyote experience was balanced by a local horse farmer who  brought me two baby Cotton Tails out of a nest he had accidentally uncovered with the lawnmower. He carefully monitored the nest and unfortunately the mother did not return. He took the time to bring them out here.

As a side note: Pilot you might ask yourself? There is an awesome group of people active in Canada. They call themselves Pilots n Paws Canada. Small airplane pilots who offer their services to fly animals in need to help or new homes. They mostly do dogs and cats, but as of yet no wildlife request has gone unanswered...THANK YOU PILOTS!

Pilots n Paws Canada

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