Is it any wonder that Chicago has gone so long with no recycling program to speak of, or that, despite Daley's loud pronouncements, we're one of the worst cities on the green scale? The Sun-Times found, not one but three aldermen ready to declare at least a verbal war on wildlife.Here's what the article says...
How about, they're harmless, properly secure your garbage (like you should from rats anyway), and live and let live? I didn't even grow up way out in the wilderness, but unless you grow up completely isolated from anything approaching nature, you learn that these animals are harmless. It takes real ignorance (not to mention deeply-ingrained entitlement) to think that you have to bring in a SWAT team to deal with a possum.
There's a sadder side to this. The perception is that these inconvenient animals have invaded "our" territory. The nicest thing I can say about that is that it's incomplete. Our constant process of chopping down forests and dividing increasingly smaller squares of land with larger swathes of pavement that crisscross every wilderness for hundreds of miles, to a greater or lesser degree. I suppose we could view the entirety of the world as "our" territory. I just don't think it's a good approach. It's a question of values - values that are right at the surface of complaining that a 12-pound possum was "scary."
Some people are still stuck in the 1950s, with the desire to kill all that is even momentarily inconvenient. That approach is killing the planet. There's another way to live, one that accepts the presence of nature around us. Sometimes, you forget how many people haven't advanced from the 1950s. Then, they pop up again.
Nature happens. Get over it.
Chicago homeowners will have to fend for themselves when it comes to getting rid of the opossums, raccoons, bats and feral cats invading their backyards and rummaging through their garbage.A sign of the times. This is obviously a cut-back. And why not? Appaprently other major cities aren't in the trapping business.
Unless the critter is in your home or is responsible for a bite, the Commission on Animal Care and Control is no longer making house calls to deliver animal traps.
The change that will force Chicagoans to call a private wildlife service was a concession to reality, executive director Anne Kent said Friday during City Council budget hearings.
With 146 animal traps and 13,000 annual requests to set them, there was simply no way to respond in a timely fashion. Not with 30 animal control officers who also respond to more serious requests, including dangerous dogs, bites and mistreatment of animals.
"If it is attacking somebody -- whether it's your dog, a citizen or a child or if it's around a school -- obviously we'll use our judgment to assist you. . . . A raccoon in a yard is not a priority," Kent said.
During budget hearings a year ago, aldermen complained about the two-month wait for traps. They were told Animal Care was planning to distribute 300 traps to ward superintendents and residents could pick them up -- with directions on how to use them -- instead of waiting for traps to be delivered.
Now the service is ending for backyard critters. After checking other major cities, Kent made no apologies. "We were the only ones in the wildlife trap business," she said.
I could look at this like privitization. Except that Chicago city government doesn't appear to be offering contracts for trapping wild animals in resident's backyard. So perhaps no one should gripe too much call a good pest control company and they'll get to you faster than the city of Chicago would.