Wildlife Encroachment – The Sad Reality of Human Expansion in Rural Areas

two coyotes

by J. Lee


Wildlife encroachment – The struggle to survive!

If Judy Garland was alive today would she be saying ‘Coyotes and Wolves, and Bears, oh my’ instead of  ‘Lions and tigers, and bearsoh my!?

In a time when so many people demand peace and love it is interesting how animals are rarely a consideration when they are seen as a nuisance or a threat.

The sad truth when confronted with wildlife is to relocate them or justify killing them. An animal’s first line of defense is education, conservation, rehabilitation and wildlife rescuers who work on the front lines serving as their protectors.

Do not misunderstand, I will never put animals ahead of mankind. My point of this story is to share how we should be stewards of our environment. The bible has several scriptures regarding our responsibility to care for animals. I will remain objective in my love for animals while trying to protect them.

Dictionary.com – Conservation

1. the act of conserving; prevention of injury, decay, waste, or loss; preservation: conservation of wildlife; conservation of human rights.  
2. official supervision of rivers, forests, and other natural resources in order to preserve and protect them through prudent management.
3. a district, river, forest, etc., under such supervision.
4. the careful utilization of a natural resource in order to prevent depletion.
5. the restoration and preservation of works of art.

Cities and housing communities are constantly growing and expanding. Areas where animals once roamed freely are now inhabited by humans. There is little give and take when wildlife is considered. Habitat where animals once freely roamed keeps shrinking for housing.

Wildlife can become desperate after encroachment reduces their food sources. They do what comes naturally to them for survival. Sometimes their only option is to hunt in occupied neighborhoods seeking alternate food sources such as garbage found inside of trash cans or even outside pets.

Human’s move in and wildlife get blamed. The first reaction is to demonize animals for being wild and demand they be killed. Sometimes the animal is relocated. The overreaction to kill is an unfortunate reality.

    

        

The Need for Humane Education – “As regards our fellow animals, humane education works at the root causes of human cruelty and abuse of animals. There is now abundant scientific evidence that animals are sentient beings, with the capacity to experience ‘feelings’. They have the ability to enjoy life’s basic gifts as well as the ability to suffer emotionally (as well as physically) through cruel or unkind treatment, deprivation and incarceration. This new understanding of the sentience of animals has huge implications for the way we treat them, the policies and laws we adopt, and the way in which we educate our children.”

“In a well-structured humane education program, younger children are initially introduced to simple animal issues, and the exploration of animal sentience and needs. Then, gradually, learners begin to consider a whole range of ethical issues (animal, human and environmental) using resources and lesson plans designed to generate creative and critical thinking, and to assist each individual in tapping in to their inbuilt ‘moral compass’.”

The Humane Society: If you find a wild animal in distress, scroll down to your state in the alphabetical list below to learn how to find a wildlife rehabilitator in your area.

At times wildlife is found that are either sick or injured. Many rescue groups specialize in rehabilitation, recovery and release. If an injury is too great they make an effort to place them in a wildlife sanctuary. In San Diego, CA we have Project Wildlife. They assisted me years ago to try to rescue an injured wild duck in Lindo Lake Park in Lakeside, CA.

Project Wildlife Permitted Wildlife Drop-Off Locations: 
– Project Wildlife Care Center on Custer Street in San Diego
– San Diego Humane Society’s Oceanside Campus, 572 Airport Road
– San Diego Humane Society’s Escondido Campus, 3450 East Valley Parkway
– Local veterinarian supporters listed here.

We can learn from wildlife if we can get past our bias against them.

5 Strategies We Can Learn From Animals About Survival

There is no doubt as housing expands into rural areas interaction between humans and animals could become more common. Precautions for humans and their pets should be a consideration.

It is also important to understand wildlife pose a minimal threat. Animals in human setting quickly adapt their lifestyle and eating habits within their surroundings. For the most part they are shy, are rarely seen and seldom pose a problem.

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