A balm for wolves

December 22nd, 2006
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Residents of the urban ecosystem will already be aware of the integral role played by coyotes in same and the unacceptably anthropocentric attitudes that MrK and I have expressed on this issue.  We now know that coyotes in the kitchen are a natural, in fact desirable part of our daily lives and we should just get with the program.  It just remains for the consumer market to catch up with the trend.



In order to smooth our peaceful, non-aggressive co-existence it might be appropriate for some forward-thinking whole foods retailer to come out with some coyote-friendly products.  The development of a poodle-flavoured, canine-shaped decoy – perhaps piñata-style, filled with nutritious treats simulating real entrails – would keep our furry friends away from vulnerable house pets.

Some kind of ergonomic outdoor jungle-gym, creating a more authentic habitat might also divert the attention of our wily buddies from toasting bagels, cooling pies or other domestic distractions in the kitchen.  And don’t forget to set the clock radio early on garbage day so that you can run out with your bags as the truck arrives.  Otherwise our kindly quadrupedal neighbours might be tempted by an unhealthy diet of table scraps.

As we adjust our urban lives, we shouldn’t lose sight of problems further afield.  Reports on the CBC earlier this week tell of a mangy wolf crisis in northern Ontario.  Apparently locals have seen wolves with significant hair-loss due to ticks, and the fear is that the cold weather may cause an unacceptable level of wolf death. The alarm has gone out to animal friends as far away as Toronto, where money is being raised to capture and nurse the wolves back to health.

And the wolf is only one, if an intrinsic part, of the ecosystem.  If there are sick, needy wolves, must there not also be scrophulous moose or near-sighted elk? How can we maintain environmental balance without constant, timely human intervention?

Part of the problem is the distraction caused by other so-called priorities. When will we ever hear the end of the so-called homeless “crisis” in our cities? Are there no food banks or work programs? It seems that, especially at Christmas time we are inundated with all these moral guilt trips. When will we free ourselves from this two-legs-good, four-legs-bad mindset?

It’s time to free ourselves and run with the wolves.

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