I could launch into a tirade here. In fact I think I shall. The tirade revolves around the fact that British Columbia, mine own home and native province, apparently hates its wildlife and wants to be rid of it as expeditiously as possible.
The other day I mentioned how I had seen a sign on a favorite walking trail noting that a cougar had been spotted in the area. ‘Cool,’ I thought. Among the most magnificent looking wild beasts around here and one that I have regrettably never seen in the wild. In so saying I’m not suggesting I want a close-encounter with one. They can be mighty dangerous, but at the same time I like the idea of them being out there, and I like the idea of them being unmolested and if people are going to pee in their panties at the idea of them being there well, tough patooties, go and do an extra load of laundry.
And, of course, along with the sign being posted there were the helicopters scoping the pretty parkland in a scene from Apocalypse Now. Just needed a bit of Wagner to set the mood. Blessedly the scrutineers spotted nothing and life could return to normal and I could breathe a sigh of relief in the thought that one of our ridiculously mistitled ‘conservation’ officers didn’t catch sight of the big feline.
The point of this diatribe is to indict this province in its attitude towards its magnificent wildlife and the only conclusion I can reach is that certain sectors in Victoria find wildlife to be a nuisance that must be gotten rid of. Oh, yes we mount little conservation measures for boring and harmless stuff like Island Marmots and we do nod to the iconic like the orcas and the kermode bears. But otherwise we have curious attitudes. We invite outsiders to come and blast away grizzlies so that they can stick some cool rugs in their homes in Oklahoma or wherever. BC professes the big bears are not in danger. Others think otherwise.
Meanwhile, we get them same old cougar-hunting choppers up in the air to post against wolves in the believe that they are ravaging elk and caribou populations rather than the systemic deforestation by the big timber companies having a role in that regard. Nah, kill the big bad wolves, they’re scary. Fairy tales tell us so.
In Cumberland some bears position themselves in trees in the village. They’re there because dumb people leave eatables around and don’t pick their damn apples. The bears do what comes naturally, they go after the apples. The ‘conservation’ officers come and nail the bears. To take an apple from a tree is a capital offence in the ursine world. Sad.
One decent conservation officer takes steps to save two orphaned cubs after their mother had been slain by his peers. He is toasted for his efforts – or, ‘re-assigned’ is I believe how that tale unfolded. Silly man, he believed in ‘conservation’ apparently.