Today’s episode is a brief one to touch base on some current news items and to tell you about some of the great episodes we have coming up.
We start with the recent heartbreaking story from Dallas, Texas where a little two year old boy was mauled by a coyote while on the front porch of his home. My thoughts and prayers go out to this little boy and his family. Several news stories have reported that neighbours in the area had been seen feeding the coyote and even petting it. In episodes 6 and 7 of The Animal Guide for Curious Humans we spoke with wildlife conflict mitigation specialist Meg Toom. She provided several helpful tips for dealing with wildlife in urban settings and explained why feeding wildlife and allowing them to become habituated to humans can be so dangerous.
Coyotes are naturally elusive animals and generally avoid contact with humans. If the stories of feeding and interacting are accurate, this animal may have lost much of its natural wariness to humans that would have kept it away from the neighbourhood. And the outcome is a true tragedy. As Meg discussed, if you see wildlife in your community, please don’t try to get near them or encourage their continued presence through feeding or allowing access to food sources. Encourage them to move on through, for their sake and yours.
We also wanted to acknowledge some of the incredible stories of efforts to assist animals in Ukraine. Like the story of zoo staff at the Mykolaiv Zoo in southern Ukraine who have refused to leave putting the animals in their care ahead of their own safety. You may have also heard the wonderful heartwarming story of two African lions, Simba and Mir who were rescued from a zoo in Eastern Ukraine, taken across the border to Romania and who have now found a permanent home in a sanctuary in South Africa. These are just two of the amazing stories coming out of Ukraine of human effort to protect and save non-human animals in the midst of this devastating attack. Unfortunately, there are also many tragedies occuring. Like the 15 year old boy who, while volunteering to help evacuate buffalo from an ecopark in Kharkiv came under fire and was killed. And the many animals who have been killed either by bombing or in some cases, because they have been used as target practice by Russian forces. If you can spare some change, please consider donating to one of the animal welfare organizations helping the animals and people of Ukraine. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) are two organizations that are active in assisting. No doubt any amount you are able to donate would be much appreciated.
On a lighter note, we have several incredible episodes to share in the coming weeks. We will be discussing mountain gorillas in the wild and some of the extraordinary people involved in protecting them. We will also talk about wild cats – both large and small and speak to the founder of The Wildcat Sanctuary about providing refuge for these extraordinary creatures. Other episodes will cover wild horses, monkeys and even chickens.
As we transition to a new production team, we would like to give a final thanks to Podmotion.co for their assistance in helping get the podcast started and for all their production support these past several months. Welcome to Magill Foote who is providing production assistance.