Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Roman Boars (and Venice Ducks)

The things you learn in the news! Turns out, Rome has a wild boar problem. Apparently trash pickup is not perfect in Rome and the resulting garbage has lead to an influx of boars.

This is not, in and of itself, surprising. Humans have lead to an increase in many animals that are getting less and less afraid of people. Coyotes in the West, Deer in the Mid-West and East. Alligators in Florida and Louisiana. Bears in New Jersey. Wolves in Wyoming. Foxes in England. Wild pigs in Roma, makes sense.

But the police just got in trouble in Rome for killing a bunch of these diseased swine. 

A mother sow Boar and her 6 children were herded into a fenced area, and then euthanized a few days ago in Rome. That is the nice way to put it. The slightly worse to put it is that the Roman Police herded up the boar family onto a fenced playground in a park. The children playing there were feeding anything they could find to the boar family, only to be scooted away by the police who then shot them with tranquilizer darts, then administered lethal injections as the kids watched the furry friends squeal and die.

And, as much as I want to feel real empathy, and I do for the children, I kind of get it about the boars. I must repeat my favorite story about the Ducks in Venice.

Ducks in Venice Italy - But that isn't what we are talking about

Everyone knows I love ducks. LOVE DUCKS. But when Eddie and I were living in LA, there was a need to cull the ducks in Venice. The problem was the ducks had spread a disease through out the flock. The disease was causing wasting in the Duck population, but worse, it was near spring and the Venice area is vital for the Pacific flyway. So the great fear was that the ducks would spread this disease to the wild population of migrating birds, with disastrous results in death and the spread of this disease.

So animal control had discussions with local residents, the Audubon society and scientists - the answer was to cull the local duck population before migration season. Well, animal control went out as they said they would one morning at 6:00AM to kill and remove a bunch of diseased ducks. But the outcry was huge. Non-locals came out to protect the ducks, raise a ruckus and bring the news crews. And they did stop the culling.

Here we go, Ducks in Venice California

The authorities tried to explain this was better for the wild ducks, migrating wildlife and the local ducks. But crazy don't care, and the protests went on. Finally, Los Angeles relented and told the protesters they won. They left. The protesters celebrated on the news and all was okay.

Until the next morning at 5:00AM, when animal control went, without telling anyone, and culled the ducks as required by law and science. And now, the wildlife is safer and healthy ducks frolic in the waterways of Venice (California).

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