Seal off dogs

This week's editorial looks at recent animal encounters on the North Island.

A couple of incidents on the North Island last week served as reminders that we must be careful not to treat wild animals as pets, and that just as much care is needed to ensure pets do not behave as wild animals.

Last Friday’s release of a pair of juvenile harbour seals, rescued as pups and rehabilitated by staff at Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, provided a learning experience for local schoolchildren and residents.

Titan, a male seal released at Jeune Landing near the dryland sort where he was found by local loggers, scooted from his open crate to the waters of Neurotsis Inlet, only to turn around and come back to the shore to get a close look at the crowd of Sea View Elementary students assembled to witness the event.

Asked if the seal had become attached to humans during his three months at the rescue centre, Taryn Robinson of Vancouver Aquarium demurred.

“These are naturally curious animals, even in the wild,” said Robinson. “They tolerated us during their rehabilitation, but they’re definitely wild animals.”

The cane corso Italian mastiff, on the other hand, is a domesticated dog. But the huge breed is descended from Roman war dogs and in more modern times was used as a hunter of large animals, including wild boar.

The thrill of the hunt apparently still drives a pair of local mastiffs, who had already been reported for threatening behaviour before they left their unfenced property in the heart of Port Hardy and crossed the street to attack and injure both a smaller dog and its owner just five days before the seals’ release.

The District of Port Hardy has an animal control bylaw. By itself, the bylaw cannot prevent an attack, but it has provisions to prevent a repeat incident. We sincerely hope the agreement between the District and the owner of the mastiffs accomplishes this, but we’d feel more confident if all of the bylaw’s provisions, rather than “many”, were being applied.

Even elementary school children know it’s wrong to approach animals in the wild, no matter how cute and cuddly they might look. It’s just as wrong for a civic authority to allow its citizens to be terrorized — and injured — by animals living in the community.

 

Just Posted

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Sea Walk

“I made a mad dash for the Sea Walk to capture Port Alice in white”

North Island communities receive upgraded used oil recycling facilities

“It is fantastic to see all of these locations with upgraded used oil recycling facilities”

How will Port McNeill spend property tax money in 2020?

Bill Mcquarrie investigates the Town of Port McNeill’s budget process for 2020.

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ near Quatsino

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Sentencing for B.C. father who murdered two young daughters starts Monday

The bodies of Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, were found in Oak Bay father’s apartment Dec. 25, 2017

B.C. vet talks tips for winter travel with pets

Going to see the vet the day before a trip is never a good idea

Most Read