The City of Calgary needs to work on their listening skills.
Since mid-spring, we have been emailing and calling their Council, asking that they look at trapping by-laws and wildlife feeding bans in the city. The only response we received was that of debate over the use of a Change.org petition that flooded their inboxes.
And now, another animal has been cruelly tortured by a trap.
According to Global News, Linda Lelonde and her husband were walking through Fish Creek Park when they saw a beaver in some kind of distress, caught in a trap. A jogger happened by and, Lelonde says, told her that “[the beaver] was biting off his leg and was basically bleeding to death.”
Lelonde took her complaints to the city and Global received this statement in response:
“This beaver has been blocking the flow of water that goes under a pathway,” Global reported Randy Girling from the City of Calgary saying. “With it blocking this culvert the pathway gets full of water, it’s a safety hazard for people pushing strollers, riding bikes.”
This cruel action will not end here, either. As beavers clearly find the culvert a desirable location to dam, more beavers, regardless of how much trapping is done, will continue to investigate. And unless the city looks for alternatives, they will continue to cause these horrific deaths.
There is, however, a humane solution.
Flow devices are simple fence-type structures that can control where beavers dam, allow water flow to continue or simply prevent beavers from damming at specific locations. APFA has formally offered to assist the city by building and teaching staff to build such flow devices at no cost.
Now we need your help.
If you live in the City of Calgary, we need you to write to your councillor and the mayor and tell them you want humane solutions implemented. Tell them trapping is not a solution and you want your tax dollars used in co-existence methods. You can find your councillor by clicking here.
Please let us know of any correspondence you receive by forwarding it to email@example.com.
Dear Councillor (insert name),
I am very disappointed to see that the City of Calgary is using cruel traps to protect a culvert from beaver damming when a humane solution is not only available, but would come with no price tag for tax payers.
The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals has offered their assistance in building an exclusion fence at the site in Fish Creek Park and I ask that you accept. Since they will be absorbing the costs, there is no downside to the City – in fact, showing that the City is willing to be progressive will lead to positive news stories.
There is no need to use these traps and I, as a constituent, want to see it ended.
(Your name and address)
Photo by Kerri Martin