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It's the Law, Part ThreePosted Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at 9:18 AM
Wildlife laws are put into place to protect our native wild animals. Hunting and fishing laws exist to help control the wildlife population. Unfortunately, we have lost the natural balance that God intended. Wildlife habitats have been replaced with concrete. We have over-hunted the predators that would have kept the deer population in check.
Our Sunday school class (teens) is studying Genesis. We talked about God giving man oversight for all the creatures. We haven't done a very good job.
Wildlife protection laws exist to protect wild animals from people - even those who have good intentions and those who think there is no big deal in keeping a wild animal as a pet. I saw hundreds of cases just like this at Walden's Puddle. People who meant well and who just weren't thinking would call about the baby...whatever...they had been keeping. About how sick it was. About their children's distress. Some we could save and some we could not. I will share plenty of these stories in the future.
One of the best examples I have is - a call from TWRA asking if we could provide care and possible return to the wild for two bobcat kittens after a court case. (Thank you to those who comment, reminding me of this). A woman had shot and killed an adult female bobcat during baby season. She had found the kits, and decided they were sooooo cute, and would make good pets because she could domesticate them. She allowed them to sleep in her bed at night.
There is NO taming of wild animals. I don't care how friendly they appear to be - you can never, ever trust them not to bite!
Someone told the authorities and the kits were seized, and the woman was facing several charges. Among these were unlawful killing of an adult bobcat during the spring season and illegal harboring of native Tennessee wildlife.
After an in-depth assessment we determined that these kits would never be able to fend for themselves and would pose a threat to people by seeking food. The choices were to euthanize them or find an acceptable placement for them. Fortunately we had a great network, and were able to place the kits with the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. They made the rounds with Jack Hanna and were used to teach people why it is not a good idea to keep wild animals as pets.
There is a reason these animals are classified as WILDlife.
This the end of my soapbox on wildlife laws!!!
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Vicky Carder is a Shelbyville native. In 1991 she founded Walden's Puddle Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Nashville. There she served as Executive Director for more than 12 years. The Center is the largest wildlife hospital in Middle Tennessee. She has published in wildlife national and international journals. Now she wants to share her knowledge of native wildlife and some of the experiences she had while working with wildlife.