SUBURBS

Wildlife Is Getting Its Revenge on Humanity!

By MARIAM RICHTER

You read right, the top of the food-chain predator has changed places with its prey! All around the globe, wildlife is literally moving into the suburbs. Certain animals, for instance rodents, pigeons or similar pests have always coexisted with humans. Yet now, the inhabitants of the suburbs are stuck with bigger and more aggressive animals.

Indeed, with 7.3 billion humans and 20 quintillion animals on planet Earth, wildlife needs new places to go since its habitat is getting smaller so it chose the suburbs. Species that were nearing extinction have made a dramatic comeback. Some have increased 2 700%, compared to the 1950s, such as the raccoon. Thus, wildlife is thriving in suburbs everywhere.

All over the world suburbs are facing this wildlife invasion, the only difference is in the invading species. In North America, raccoons, coyotes, moose, mountain lions, falcons, alligators, skunks, Virginia opossums, bats, squirrels and deer have made themselves at home in suburban areas whereas in South America, marmosets have become quite active. The Australian suburbs received kangaroos and Granny’s cloak moths and Africa and India got different species of kleptomaniac monkeys, leopards as well as the occasional elephant. European suburbs deal with wild boars and red foxes. Of course this list is far from complete but shows the extent of this phenomenon.

However, these examples bring up one question: why? Yes, why is the wildlife that avoided human contact coming into the suburbs, a human paradise? Well, the cause is simple and called Homo sapiens. After all, who destroyed and used these wild animals’ habitats as they pleased, making them uninhabitable by degrading them? Who is the cause of global warming, causing climate changes, making it harder to survive? Who leaves tons of easily accessible food that they call garbage outside? Who still has gardens and parks? Finally, who has stopped frightening the wild animals by protecting endangered species and regulating hunting?  So then, where are the wild animals drawn like moths to the light? The suburbs because they exclude danger and have a lot of food as well as space.

Certainly, coexisting with these new neighbours is dangerous. Even if these wild animals usually keep out of sight and out of mind, they still share the same living space as the human race. Consequently, there will always be trouble. Namely, suburban pets will have the most conflicts with them. However, losing a pet and losing a child are two different matters. Coyotes are sufficiently large predators to pose a threat and have, as well as other species, such as leopards, already killed humans in suburban areas that they considered as their territory. Smaller incidents include garbage rummaging and nesting in houses, especially mothers tend to be aggressive when their young are involved and even the smallest creatures can cause injury and disease. All in all, there is already friction between humans and wildlife.

Altogether, it all comes down to wildlife moving into the suburbs worldwide. Eventually, humans will have two options: move out or coexist. The third one, getting rid of these wild animals, is impossible, as Stan Gerht, a wildlife ecologist at Ohio State University said. They have adapted, now it’s the most intelligent species turn to. So why not start with some easy solutions like a raccoon-proof trash can?

 

 

            

 

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