To the editor:
Re: "It's humans who invade city critter area," Letters July 27.
I totally agree with letter writer Frank Sterle Jr. It's known that animals try to return to the only homes they know, areas which developers may have cleared of trees and replaced with concrete. As people move into these newly developed areas, they often spot confused wildlife and promptly call Conservation Officers since that title implies someone who preserves our natural resources and guards against loss or injury of precious wildlife. Too many times, however, news reports later tell us that the Conservation Officer shot the animal in question. It is probably much cheaper to just shoot the animal then to humanely trap it and relocate it to a place that is still wilderness. As a result of many such happenings, one even hears people advising each other: "Don't call Conservation Officers if you spot a wild animal in your area as they will surely kill it".
The term "Conservation Officer" is misleading and should be modified or changed altogether. I've written to the Minister of Environment suggesting that, when someone calls the conservation office, a taped message could indicate that in all likelihood the animal people are concerned about will not be humanely trapped and relocated, but shot instead. Alternatively, a name not implying rescue such as "Culling Officers" seems more descriptive. The title alone would clarify the job. I have not yet received an answer to my suggestion.
Adele Runikis, Vancouver