March 30, 2009
Who You Gonna Call (or would you?)
A rather thought provoking conversation a friend of mine and I had a number of weeks ago. We all know to call 911 in the case of a human emergency or injury. Who do you call when it's an animal... especially a wild one? Would you call anybody? Would you try to help the animal yourself? Would you just ignore the poor creature and carry on with your own life?
Without getting into the details of my own personal story or the one from my friend... but we've both had our experiences of coming across wounded critters in our days.
Take a look at these creatures pictured here, they are some of the local wildlife in the city of Toronto. Some may call them pests but I think they are certainly a welcomed addition of living things to our city. In a sea of people everywhere, spotting one or more of these species is nice. Sure Raccoons get into the trash, Skunks tear up lawns in search of grubs, Squirrels destroy tulip gardens for the bulbs and, well, I am not sure what an Opossum does but I am sure someone out there has a complaint about them.
But, on a warm summers afternoon in the park, isn't it nice to see the Squirrels among us? An evening in the backyard and you happen to notice a family of Raccoons come trekking through the fence... aren't they interesting to watch? Or, have you ever been somewhere, even another backyard summer's eve party or camp out, and suddenly a Skunk comes through, everybody freaks out and runs to get away from him. Wasn't that a good laugh? Nobody got sprayed and the evening continued. Once again, a 'possum comes along, and well, I don't know... I see them and they just walk about, doing their thing, just trying to make it from one night to the next. I do know some people get quite a fright at the sight of them, thinking they are some humongous rat like creature; but they are a gentle type, not to be handled, but they most likely won't come over and tear up your ankles.
So, one day or night you happen to come across one injured. Would you do something about it? Would you just leave it up to Mother Nature? How about if you find a litter in distress and the mother is nowhere to be seen? She may have been caught by a predator or hit by a car... but, be sure you know the litter has been abandoned.
All I ask, is that if you think you would most likely do something for a creature(s) in distress... please have on hand the number of your local animal rescue, just save it to your cell phone and hope you never have to use it. It's a lot easier than coming across one, wanting to do something about it, but have no idea who to call. Having that number saved could save a life one day.