Thursday, July 17, 2008

Talk Thursday: Teeming

People, for all time, have been moving into untamed wilderness areas, get this, teeming with wildlife. Imagine that. Reports of coyotes snatching dogs, cats, even attempting to snatch small children out of parks and front yards is becoming more frequent. And the domesticated morons raise eyes and voices in idiotic outrage that they’re not being protected, “How can this happen?”


When I was little and in Sunday school stories of missionaries in the darkest of Africa (isn’t that hysterical I always think of Africa as full of hot sunshine) being threatened by lions in the wilds of that foreign land. Totally logical events in my suburban life way of thinking. But thirty-six years ago I moved from Los Angeles to Oregon, I totally expected it to be teeming with wildlife. I am a birdwatcher; living on the edge of the boonies is heaven. We have bears, raccoons, chattering squirrels, chipmunks, and I’ve lost a cat to a coyote in my front yard. I often find a buck grazing in my parking space Saturday mornings when I come to work.

If I move farther out you end up with all the above, maybe a herd of elk in your garden, bobcats, and mountain lions stalking your goats. I live in somewhat rural Oregon; I moved in to their territory, I expect them.

My friend Sparks moved up North Fork and has reoccurring battles with Antlered Rats… his term not mine. Area neighbors have battled Elk for years, one guy ingeniously wired a washing machine drum to a trip wire to scare said elk out of his garden. It worked well, but afterwards he had to replace his fence. I think Keith found it across the creek and up the hill sometime later.

One morning Ducky was trapped inside the house, because the largest bear I’ve ever seen (easily 300 pounds) was standing in our front yard at 4am. It was a Tuesday morning, and the new idiot in the neighborhood had left her garbage out over night for pick up. Personally I would have just walked – quickly to my truck, but Ducky called the cops and waited out the bear…who thankfully left before the cops arrived, bears turned in are targeted for extinction. Our neighbor does not leave her can out overnight anymore. I have quit filling my bird feeder, because I don’t want the bears to fall prey. I love and respect my wildlife, when I can capture a picture or dozen, I do, but I don’t purposely feed them.

In the last two weeks, between Reedsport and Yachats (40 miles of coastal forest teeming with bears) twelve have been killed, because they have become a threat to the tourons who’ve moved to rural Oregon from LA, Chicago, New York, and Phoenix looking for their personal Nirvana. Said tourons (tourist-morons, a new word courtesy of Tewkes) with roots have put up their bird feeders and realized, “Oh, mi God look at the cute bears and raccoons. They’re going to starve. I’ll be a good Girl Scout and put out these nice apples and Wonderbread for them.” Girl Scouts know you don’t feed the animals. Now the bears, just like Yogi, want more, because as we all know, it’s not over until the fat bear burps.

Now hungry / lazy bears, not finding a hand out, are trying to get into sliding glass doors, kitchen windows, the front doors from whence the Wonderbread had arrived like manna.
And before you ask, no they can’t be relocated. Bears relocated (and Elk too) trek the long miles back from whence they came. So, please be kind and don’t love the bears to death.



afod said...

Such an interesting POV which is so true. Thanks for sharing the photos, too!

Cele said...

I get a tad bit radical at times, but I do feel you have to respect the local wildlife...except mice and rats of course.

CV Rick said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Don't feed the wildlife. They'll still stick around and pop up unexpectedly, but they won't try to get into your house. I just got through reading fascinating accounts of the relationship between bears and wolves in Yellowstone. Apparently with the introduction of wolves, the bear population has increased, but interaction with tourists has decreased. The reason is that bears can steal big-game kills from the wolves - things like elk, moose, and deer - that the bear can't run down themselves.