My Sky Color

A forty something Dad, Husband, Engineer guy living in Western Oregon. Reflections on all things in life. A few technical things and whatever else comes along.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Don't Feed the Animals
In 1993 my wife and I worked a season in Alaska working in a gold mine. I worked as a mechanic and my wife worked as a cook. There was an average of about 15 people around. The worker bees were all college age young men. This was a very remote site only accessible by airplane. If you want to find it on a map go 350 west from Fairbanks. The camp was just east of Granite Mountain.
The little valley the mine was situated in had a small community of raptors, ravens and ducks that nested there each summer. So some of the guys got the bright idea to steal a raven chick from its nest. The raven came to live in camp. In no time it was full size. Due to the fact that its "owner" was working 12 hours a day 6 days a week someone else had to look after the juvenile. Magically the camp cook was now the feeder of the bird. Whenever my wife or others would go outside this big squawking black bird would try to land on your shoulder (head) to be fed. After a month of this the raven wasn't so cute anymore.
So the "owner" decided to put it back. We didn't know where the raven went. He just disappeared one Sunday. The next Sunday we went for a ride up the valley for fun. Who did we run across but the raven. He didn't look so good. He basically hadn't eaten in a week. His feathers were all messed up with a few missing. He came after us immediately looking for food. My blood boiled! You can't raise a wild animal then just quit. They don't have any education or training. The critter has become dependant on you for their welfare.
We had to carry a rifle or shotgun with slugs due to the bears. I hip shot at the bird with my 300 magnum. The first shot missed and the second connected. It is hard to hit something 5 feet away with a scoped rifle setup for 100 yards. We dumped the raven in a little ravine. Sad to see a wild animal be corrupted. A quick death is better than starving over the course of 2 or 3 weeks.
Where we live now, "out in the country" some of the city imports think it is cute to feed the skunks and raccoons. We have plenty of problems with raccoons and coyotes without encouraging them to prowl around your house looking for cat food. One friend live trapped two pesky raccoons and hauled them into Fairview and turned them loose. I heard of a guy in town that trapped nearly 30 raccoons and skunks over the course of one summer. He hauled them to the country and turned them loose. Thank you very much.
Parents raise the child, not the village. Let the wild stay wild and the domestic stay domestic. DMP


At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Julie said...

What a sad story. People can be so irresponsible. This is Eric's first time on your blog, with me.

At 5:54 AM, Anonymous jenn said...

There is a big problem in Okinawa with military people leaving behind pets when they move. The moving expenses have to come out-of-pocket for pets and usually there's bording costs, and the pain of a flight with animals. So people don't want to pay and just leave their pet. I'm no pet lover, but I feel bad for the animals that have had really good homes and are left behind to fend for themselves.


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