Posts Tagged 'beavers'

Problem persists

Lesley Fox on Metro Vancouver’s approach to beavers.

Make no mistake, cruel trapping is happening right here in our own backyards. Some of the worst offenders include the municipalities of Surrey, Langley, Richmond, Maple Ridge, and Pitt Meadows. Keep in mind traps not only kill beavers, but they have the potential to kill other wildlife and even our pets.

But despite years of local beaver trapping, the problem persists. This is largely because trapping is just a Band-Aid solution. No matter how much trapping is done, attractive habitat and an ongoing food source mean more beavers will return to the area.

Regular perp

National Post reports on downtown Toronto beaver . . .

Police put the beaver in a garbage can, which they placed in the back of their cruiser. But the beaver escaped and rode down to the lakeshore sitting on the seat, like a regular old perp. Officers told CP24 the animal was “unharmed and happy.

. . . and draws map of wild animals in Canada’s largest city.

Humane drowning

P.E.I. will cull beavers this summer.

“I wish we had a magic wand to fix the problem,” said retired P.E.I. biologist Daryl Guignon. “But it’s not easy, let me tell you. The beavers are so prolific here, they’re in pretty well every watercourse,” so relocating them would be futile.

Clarence Ryan has been a government-contracted trapper in eastern P.E.I. since the beaver management program was first launched. Last season he killed 87 beavers with two types of traps, a traditional Conibear clamp and a submersible snare. The first, the “trap of choice” for professionals, is supposed to kill the beaver instantly, though some environmental groups say it often doesn’t. The second is meant to drown the animal in under five minutes.

“They’re humane, fast and efficient,” Ryan said.

Vehement comments

Reflection after the shooting of a black bear in London.

I know that some of the most vicious and vehement comments I’ve received during the past (and most likely the future) related to stories involving animals. The most recent example were comments sent to me by the London-raised actress Megan Park (who stars in the ABC TV series The Secret Life of the American Teenager), who in response to a column about a local beaver trapper, wrote that, “I would like to see you trap yourself and find out how it feels to have your vertebrae crushed slowly and painfully while you slip into an irreversible state of unconsciousness.”

Why do animals provoke such intense feelings with certain people?

Animal exploitation

A look at animal symbols prompted by boxing kangaroo controversy at Olympics.

Nations send messages with their choice of emblematic fauna and none is more unequivocal than America, which speaks volumes about itself with the majesty of the bald eagle.

The Australians speak of spirited defiance with their boxing kangaroo, the British of stoicism with their bulldog and the French of lunch with their Gallic rooster.

What Canadians were speaking of when they settled on the beaver is a question only you good people can answer, but before you do, consider what the grizzly speaks of. A 500-kilogram lump of angry fauna that gallops at 50 km/h speaks of simple, primitive, trouser-soiling fear.

And, with great respect, it’s a powerful symbol that Canada hasn’t exploited as much as it could have over the decades.



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