Time to restore wildlife balance

It appears the region has a problem with urban deer, urban rabbits and urban geese.

It appears the region has a problem with urban deer, urban rabbits and urban geese.

Well, actually they are rural animals forced into an urban environment.

They adjust to their shrinking habitat and we have only ourselves to blame.

With our rush to develop vast tracts of rural land, we displace these creatures and then complain that they have become a nuisance. They just keep on in the natural order of things.

Their trails are ingrained in their genetic memory and they just keep on going where they’ve always gone. They eat everything, they leave their droppings behind and they do as they please.

Food is whatever they can graze on and the well-tended shrubs, bulbs, plants and bushes in our gardens are ripe for the feasting. You can’t blame the animals, they just cruise along nibbling at whatever tastes good.

Should we have a deer cull? Yes, we should. We should also follow that up with a cull of rabbits and geese.

Each of these animals is a traditional food source and fed right they are very tasty. They could feed a lot of people who may not be able to afford good, wholesome meat.

Europeans laugh when they see how sentimental we are. We should be laughing at ourselves for importing meat from other countries when we have our own food source in most of our backyards.

Even in orderly Oak Bay, deer are spotted resting among the foliage, or eating it. In the Interior of the province many people gear up each fall for a shot at a moose or a deer.

Hunting is honest and it’s real and people depend on it to feed themselves during the winter months.

Most hunters will go for a clean kill and would never allow an animal to suffer. True, it would be harder here as we have neighbours to think about, but where there is a will, we know there is a way.

This is not being cruel, it is actually doing Mother Nature’s job, as these creatures do not have any natural predators in urban areas.

We took care of that when we decided cougars, coyotes and bears needed to be shot when they became a nuisance. We are the ones disturbing the natural order of things.

With each new arrival of another cute fawn, gosling or bunny we are allowing the weakest of the species to survive. In nature they would be culled by natural selection. If they can’t run fast enough or fly quick enough they become another’s dinner.

Perhaps it’s time we gave serious thought to how we are allowing cute and cuddly to replace common sense. Animals do not have human emotions or reactions. It is humans trying to put our spin on the way they act and react.

If these animals were considered ugly or undesirable such as bugs, snakes, rats and creepy crawly things, we probably wouldn’t hesitate to dispatch them. If these “uglier” species were allowed to overrun our environment, we would likely do something about it rather quickly.

It isn’t the animals themselves, but the over-abundance that causes problems. Each creature has its place in the natural order of things and it is humans who have upset that balance.

It will have to be humans who try to restore it.


—Pirjo Raits is the editor of the Sooke News Mirror.

Just Posted

Langford considers regulating sale of spray paint following string of vandalism

Regulations could involve restricting sale to minors, locking up spray paint

French Open at Bear Mountain serves a winner

The US Open is scheduled for Sept. 3 to 8 on the hardcourts at Henderson Park in Oak Bay

Union Club of B.C. votes in its first female president

16-year member Grace Van den Brink previously served as vice president

Alzheimer Society calls for helpline volunteers in Greater Victoria

Charity is in ‘urgent need’ as calls on the rise

$11 million overdraw for McKenzie Interchange construction

The project has been delayed multiple times and is now estimating a budget of $96 million

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

Most Read