A hard habitat to break

The sensible among us know it’s good to stay away from scary videos. The blood, the gore, the sheer brutality do little to further anything in this world beyond shock and adrenaline.

But sometimes it is beneficial to look.

The one I viewed last week was filled with cruelty, pain and suffering—so much so that I had to turn my head a couple of times. It gave me a peek into a world I’d rather not visit.

It was the story of the anachronistic world of the fur trapper. The Animal Protection Institute produced the video, Cull of the Wild, as part of a campaign to stop the killing of millions of animals by trapping.

And it was an effective video. It showed wild-eyed, furry animals in the snares of steel-jawed leg traps. One can hardly bear to look at the shots of animals hopelessly struggling to pull their bloody paws out of the traps. The narrator told us that the creatures instinctively try to lunge out of the traps but only end up dislocating joints and severing tendons. Then, they try to chew their way out. The pictures of the helpless animals with bloody and broken teeth were almost too much.

And did you know that your tax dollars are going to help trap and kill thousands of animals each year? (See “Critters in the ’hood,” page 20.) There is now a movement to stop the trapping and come up with alternatives that work.

But, beyond the emotion of the video, there are problems with the wildlife that have adapted to and created a habitat in suburbia, where they are not welcome.

Something has to give, and it’s probably going to be the animals.