Compassion or Stupidity

Colorado wildlife officials urge people to not pick up wild animals after a Colorado Springs woman picked up an injured bobcat and placed the animal in the backseat with her child.  This is one of those incidents where an act of compassion throws out simple commonsense.  Fortunately no one was injured, but someone desperately needs to call child protective services on this woman for placing her child at such risk or, at least, demand that she be prevented from having more children.

When I was a fledgling animal control officer, I got a call to help a guy remove a badger from the trunk of his car.  When I arrived on scene, he told me that he had accidently hit the badger and wrapped up the animal and placed it in the trunk of his car.  When he got to his destination, he opened the trunk and found the badger sitting on his spare tire spitting fury.  It is easy to armchair quarterback a person’s decision when you are looking at teeth and claws.

Wild animals have a genetic history that aids in their survival to be wild.  I had an assistant once working on infant coyotes that found that all of the socialization that the pups received in their youth failed to domesticate the animals and yet, we life in a society in which people desire to own wild animals.  In many cases, the decision to own such a creature is later proven to be a poor one.

Because commonsense isn’t as common that we would like to believe, we have to create laws so that these people do not inadvertently impact society.  Most people will agree that it is a good idea to restrict certain (crazy) people from owning guns.  In the field of animal welfare we constantly see people who should be restricted from having children or pets.  A good rule of thumb is that if a person purchases a wild animal. that person is not fit to make good decisions; all of their pets and children should be taken from them.