Living With Nature

People almost always say they are interested in living in harmony in the bosom of nature, but they say that because they have never tried to do it. Nature is nasty and brutish and, far from being some caring nurturing force, it does not care whether you live or die.

A recent article from the Houston Chronicle discusses a plan by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to reintroduce a population of black bears in several east Texas counties. Everyone is in favor of cuddly, frolicking black bear cubs, but nobody is in favor of the foul tempered, 250 pound, extremely protective mother that comes with them into your back yard, rips up your trash cans and kills and eats your poodle.

This brings to mind an incident. I used to live in Massachusetts (Acton, MA to be precise) during the mid 90’s. Our property backed up on the town conservation area and was very lovely and quite bucolic. On several occasions we saw what we thought were coyotes, but didn’t think they ranged that far north. Then we heard a number of hysterical news accounts from towns like Lincoln about numerous small pets going missing or being mangled and coyotes were named as the prime suspects. The same tree hugging, Birkenstock wearers that wanted to reintroduce wolves onto ranching land in the Wyoming where they would prey on sheep and cattle, were demanding action to eradicate the coyote threat to Fluffy the poodle.

Large predators were killed to make areas safe for human habitation. Don’t think their reintroduction, if attempted, will be without consequence.