Over the last several months (actually, probably over the last few years), local news stations have highlighted stories of the increased presence of wild animals in the suburbs of greater Boston. Some of you out there are aware of my completely justifiable fear of bears in the suburbs. Hey, they have been spotted in several towns and they break into people’s homes, as do deer and moose. And not just homes, either, but banks, travel agencies, and various other businesses. There has been a rash of deer and moose crashing through the front windows of businesses, running amok inside, leaping over desks, and then fleeing through the broken window. Apparently, they mistake their reflection for a foe and leap at it, then they spend a hot minute seeking out this dastardly beast before giving up. Many of these have been caught on tape. I guess it’s New England’s answer to Los Angeles’ high-speed car chases.
A more visible and prevalent threat, however, is the coyote. They’re spotted more and more every day and by most accounts, they are little bastards. They’re bold, they’re hungry, and they get what they want. Just the other night, a Boston news broadcast showed a cute elderly couple who’s beloved dog, Shadow, was attacked and killed by a coyote in broad daylight. Not only did they have no children, but they adopted this older dog from a woman who died from cancer. So, they were good, caring people. The husband was more visably upset than his wife, as he mentioned how Shadow kept him company. The wife explained how you wouldn’t even know Shadow was there, that’s how quiet and well-behaved he was.
This couple adored their dog. A portrait of Shadow hung in a place of honor in their parlor, with several photographs arranged on tables throughout. You don’t necessarily have to be a dog lover or dog owner to be empathetic. If you have grandparents, that’ll do it.
In the two-minute story, a state wildlife official mentioned how “they are encroaching in our areas.” Excuse me? Aren’t we (the humans) the ones who are usurping they’re (the wild animals) areas? There are houses now located in areas that wild animals used to have to themselves. It’s no wonder bears, deer, and coyotes are bumping into humans and pets more often. They aren’t moving into our neighborhoods. Rather, we are moving into their homes.
After Shadow’s unfortunate demise, state wildlife officials shot and killed at least two coyotes. That seems rather unfair and severe, considering the coyote was in his/her natural habitat and just doing what a coyote does. Seems we’re messing with the natural order here.