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

‘Out of the Interior: Survival of the Small-town Cinema in British Columbia’ is coming to Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

On Saturday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m., ‘Out of the Interior’ documentary will screen at Gate House Theatre.

North Island Rising: Political polarization

This fall there will be a minimum of four candidates wanting your vote here on the North Island.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The last walk together

“I would give almost anything to be able to have another walk together”

North Island College holding information session on new culinary diploma

Get a sneak peek at the new culinary kitchen at the Campbell River campus

Council approves replacement of overhead heaters at Fire Hall

Port Hardy council has agreed to spend $11,000 on the replacement of… Continue reading

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

Most Read