Lady: Today we are talking about wild animals encounters. I admit I hadn't thought too much about this until we moved to the country. We live in the Gatineau Hills and have deer, wild turkeys, otters, groundhogs, foxes, racoons, skunks, porcupine, birds, squirrels, toads, frogs and chipmunks in our yard. This increases our encounters with them. We also have a Hailey who is a great hunter.
Lee: Thank you Lady, for acknowledging my great hunting. I have caught a groundhog, and instead of taking a picture and framing it on the wall like human hunters, they took it away from me. Also, the groundhog didn't end up in my bowl, they just threw it away . . . so not cool. It was a waste. They don't appreciate it and they don't appreciate it when I try to climb trees to get a squirrel (I got one once . . .).
|Hailey trying to get a squirrel|
Lee: If you knew what Red John (the squirrel) was saying, you wouldn't want him around either.
Lady: I am sure you are exaggerating Hailey.
Lee: Nope, I would never exaggerate.
Lee: I learned my lesson with the bee, but those others aren't fast enough to stop me.
Lady: Ok, you may be super hunter, but other dogs, like Phod may not be, they may be unsafe. Also, in many places it is illegal for dogs to chase and harass wildlife.
Lee: The wildlife harasses first . . . . .but I agree some dogs may be slow and unsafe.
Lady: Ok, so we have finally agreed, we need to learn to live safely with wildlife. Here are some things you can do to keep everyone safe (taken from a variety of provincial websites):
|A deer in our yard|
- Keep your dog on leash in areas/times of day the wildlife encounter is likely to happen.
- Keep your cats inside or take them outside on leash
- Do a visual check before letting dogs out/off leash (Lee: This may help some but those sneaky groundhogs can just pop out of a hole when you least expect it. They are wily.)
- Make sure to use chew-proof leashes/tie outs to prevent your dog from breaking free. (Lee: aka stifle your dog).
- Train your dog not to respond to wildlife. Keep in mind that even highly trained dogs may not listen when faced with the tantalizing sight and smells of wildlife.
- A secure fence may keep some of the wildlife out but if you are facing wolves etc it needs to be very high as they will jump over it.
- Be loud when outside. This could be wearing bells, stomping you feet etc. That will scare many animals away and prevent the encounter in the first place.
- Keep garbage in animal proof containers and don't put it out early.
- Pick up dog poop, it can attract wild canines.
- Don't leave small dogs outside unattended, they may be confused as prey by some wildlife.
- Don't leave your pets outside overnight. Most attacks on pets happen at night.
- If you come face to face with a predator, don't run. Yell, scream, throw things, be loud, maintain eye contact and don't turn your back.
Lee: The most important piece of advice, don't lick a toad. They taste yucky.
Lady: These are some of the tips you can follow to help live in harmony with nature.
Lee: Or you can just let your LeeLee out and she can take care of all the groundhogs, squirrels, ravens etc and it won't be a problem.
Phod: Or you can be like me and gently catch the groundhog and bring him home as a pet.
Phod and Lee: Lady you are no fun!
Lady: Thank you for joining us for safety week. Have you every had a wildlife encounter? What did you do?