Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Return of the Wild

A decade or more ago, I thought about writing a novel about wild animals coming back toward civilization. They would be reminding us of our connections and obligations to nature. It wasn't to be a naive and moralistic conservation novel, but something deeper. That's about as far as I got with it, and you can probably see why.

But strange to say, the wild animals are coming back toward civilization. It could be the regrowth of forests, or humans extending their range further into the animals' ranges. First it was the raccoons, who like garbage, then the skunks and coyotes, who are pretty versatile too. I've heard mountain lions from my relatively urban neighborhood, and now it's fishers in New York State.

It's something to think about, how we're all going to live together.


twshiloh said...

"...we're all going to live together."

Hopefully. Although I can see, especially with predators, an alternate version where hysterical reports about threats to children and pets ('Why won't anyone think of the children?!') are used to justify culls of these animals.

Coyotes are getting bigger in the East because (it's speculated) they're filling the gap left by wolves. One wonders if they'll suffer a similar fate once they get big enough.

helmut said...

I live in the heart of urban DC. I've got deer, foxes, raccoons, opossums, chipmunks, think I smelled a skunk once, and millions of squirrels (though they don't really count). I think I might soon need to buy a semi-automatic weapon to protect myself from bears.

troutsky said...

Not a joke here in Montana helmut. Ranchers and hunters spent decades eradicating grizzlies and wolves and now Big government is re-introducing them. It has a lot to do with the love for Sarah Palin here.