Rants in your pants: Wild animals are NOT interested in meeting you!

Don’t mess around with mother nature
By Janis McMath, Contributor


As British Columbians, we are lucky to be surrounded by so much beautiful nature—yet it also entails a lot of responsibility. Our interactions with wild animals are key in maintaining a healthy balance between our habitat and theirs. However, people seem to insist on overlooking the importance of that in favour of having a “cute” story they can brag about.

I am wowed everyday by how often people approach racoons and skunks in Vancouver considering all the viruses they can carry—and the fact that a skunk will spray if frightened. I also see geese run people down all the time because people are in their personal space or nesting areas.

If you are going to interact with a wild animal, you should first consider the repercussions of your little meet and greet on that creature. When you interact with a wild animal you are teaching them to be comfortable with humans, and that can be a huge problem in some cases. As reported in Hakai Magazine, Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island has been struggling with wolves for a long time because of people’s insistence on interacting with them. Park visitors have been seen approaching wolves and attempting to take photos, when the proper reaction is to frighten the wolves off. Because people have not been creating distance between themselves and the wolves, the wolves became bolder in approaching people—and, inevitably, in attacking people or their pets.

Wolves that become too conditioned to humans must be killed, and all because some guy wanted to take a selfie. If you want to appreciate wildlife, you must inform yourself of the proper way to appreciate them. You could be hurting them with your ignorance.