September 24, 2023

People Need To Be Reminded What 'Wild Animal' Means

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Our society seems to be on a quest to drive, run, walk, bike and stand among wild animals on an everyday basis. By doing so we have created overgrown wildlife parks also once known as a zoo.

Our children are growing up with the wrong ideas about our wildlife. Wild as defined in the American Heritage dictionary says: Wild, 1. Ocurring, growing, or living in a natural state; not domesticated, cultivated or tamed. In short what that means is animals living in National Forests and many other so-called wildlife parks are not living in a natural state.

The conflict arrives when each successive generation that comes along has a tainted education as to what wildlife is and how it is supposed to live and behave. We therefore go about our business thinking bears are to be cuddled, buffalo petted and deer to fill our picture windows from our living rooms.

To prove my point, a man was jogging this morning at around 6 a.m. on a trail in the Grand Canyon National Park. The runner spotted a bull elk rubbing his antlers on a tree next to the trail and “acting agressively”.

The man opted to ditch it into the woods and try to go around the elk. The elk decided he was a threat and charged after him knocking the man down. He ended up with scrapes, bruises and some sort of ankle injury.

We are forever hearing similar instances where people think they are Grizzly Adams or some such and can become one with wild animals.

Maybe if people approached wild animals the way I do dogs, they wouldn’t get into these scrapes. I automatically assume every dog I come in contact with is mean and will bite me no matter how cute and cuddly they may appear. Since I took that approach, I have not been bitten again.

People need to assume that ALL animals are not necessarily friendly and some would just as soon as eat you for lunch, probably without first discarding the Nikes.

Tom Remington