OUR VIEW: Creature comforts

We say: We have to learn to co-exist with wildlife

A video posted to YouTube of a bear entering and exiting a pickup truck by unlatching the doors might be funny for human viewers safely ensconced in their concrete and glass condos, but encounters with wildlife in the city rarely end well. For the animals.

It seems every spring there are sightings of bears in urban neighbourhoods ambling through backyards and down alleys tipping over garbage cans, pawing at bird feeders.

Posters on light standards of missing cats and small dogs often signify a coyote is on the prowl, turning docile pets into easy prey.

Recently, a deer somehow managed to wander through the busy streets of New Westminster for hours before conservation officers were finally notified.

Sadly the otherwise healthy and robust deer didn’t survive the shot from a tranquilizer gun. Ungulates like deer don’t react well to tranquilizing drugs, said Dave Cox of the Conservation Officer Service, who observed the animal for one-and-a-half hours before felling it. The stress of dodging traffic, barking dogs and curious humans probably didn’t help.

One of the great allures of living in British Columbia is the vast natural wilderness that begins right in our backyard. It’s easy to be at a grocery store in the morning and then having a picnic in the middle of a first or second growth forest, surrounded by mountains and trees for as far as the eye can see in the afternoon.

Odds are there’s creatures amongst those trees.

And sometimes they wander out of those woods and into our streets.

At first blush it may seem an infringement on our space, but we have to remember their ancestors were here long before us. We’re encroaching on territories and behaviours bred into them for thousands of years.

We need to respect their coexistence with us.

– Black Press