As it happens every few years, raccoons become a ‘problem’ for city residents. A slight boost to the local population, as well as a lack of common sense on issues such as intentional/unintentional feeding of wildlife and waste sanitation, tends to be the lead culprit in these events.
It’s eerily familiar of our more recent campaign in Windsor, Ontario, where a handful of noisy residents – and a bored media – decided that skunks were a problem. Unfortunately, the squeaky wheel gets the grease – even in the 21st century.
The City of Windsor undertook a program that cost over $100,000 to try and reduce the skunk population. The result, as predicted, was absolute failure. But there was good news: the City of Windsor adopted a hard-sided garbage container program and recognized – in writing – that the natural world would do a better job of managing skunk populations.
Now, with an election approaching, Toronto’s raccoons are once again in the line of fire – literally.
Many mayoral candidates and councillors-to-be are discussing plans to ‘eliminate’ raccoons to try and control the population. You can stop them.
The contact information for every candidate is available on the City of Toronto website here. We – and the raccoons – need you to email every candidate in your ward, as well as the three major mayoral candidates (John Tory, Rob Ford and Olivia Chow). Tell them that you will not support any candidate who will take lethal action against the city’s raccoons. And make sure you tell them that you WILL be at the polls in October.
Forward any responses you receive to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep track of who’s on the side of the raccoons, and who needs a lesson in compassionate conservation.
As a voting resident of the City of Toronto, I want you to know that I am paying attention to your and your competitors’ comments about raccoons. I will not support any candidate who is in support of lethal action being taken against wildlife in my city. There are humane, sustainable and ecologically responsible solutions to preventing and mitigating conflict. Killing is a knee-jerk reaction that ignores basic principles of nature.
I will be at the polls in October – and so will the millions of animal lovers in this great city.
(Your name and address)