Your letters are needed!
April 17, 2007 The public is outraged over the death
of this young beaver, found writhing around trying to free its front right leg from the cruel and illegal trap that ensnared it
in a wetland off a public path in
Two other traps were set in the bog, awaiting other victims.
Humane solutions for wildlife conflicts
The public are fed up with the inhumane approach that is taken in dealing with wildlife conflicts. As with all wildlife concerns there are progressive solutions that are based on prevention. What is particularly offensive in this situation, is that the beaver are simply living as they should be allowed to live in a wetland area. There was no damage being done to roads, etc.
Lack of help for wildlife
This incident also demonstrates the very negative impact of the loss of
wildlife rehabilitation services in Ottawa. The women who rescued the
beaver were given the run around and were completely dismayed about the
lack of help. One veterinary clinic told them that they were not allowed
to help the beaver, even though the rescuers were prepared to pay,
without the prior permission of the Ontario Ministry of Natural
Please send a letter
Please lend a moment of your time to write a brief letter to
the Ottawa Citizen against the use of inhumane traps in urban
areas. Letters must include your full name, address
and daytime phone number. See
sample letters below.
The Ottawa Citizen
Copy the mayor
Copy your city councillor
City of Ottawa - City Councillors
Copy the NCC - assistant to Ms. Heather Chiasson, Acting Chair:
And please blind copy us for our records
Apr. 16/07 - Rescuers free injured beaver from illegal snare on NCC land
Apr. 17/07 - Injuries force officials to euthanize Bucky beaver
Apr. 17/07 - Editorial, Unlucky Bucky
Cindy Barka holds up the trap in which she found a young beaver.
She and another woman, Elise Hallewick, came across the wounded animal
while walking their dogs near the Nortel campus at Watts Creek.
'It took two of us,' to free the beaver, she said.
She then wrapped it in her jacket.
The traps are illegal, unmarked, out-of-season and senseless in their disregard for people. And the type of trap is inhumane, causing horrible pain and resulting in the animal struggling against the steel jaws holding its paw instead of the trap's capturing it live or killing it immediately. That's a terrible way to die. It took two people to pull the jaws of the trap off the maimed beaver.
Wildlife officials determined that the badly injured animal had to be put down yesterday.
We hope that the uproar about the incident will end trapping inside urban areas.
Ottawa, The Sterile City
Friday April 20, 2007
If you hate wildlife, you'll love Ottawa. You won't be bothered by pesky
critters, in fact, we do everything we can to ensure our city is kept
sterile and void of annoying pests. The sight of royal swans swimming by
will never impede your view of the Ottawa River since we keep them
locked up year round. And, as an added bonus, we've taken steps to
reduce any run in with those dang beavers, our so-called Canadian
mascot. We trap, maime, and kill those big-toothed furballs because,
well, because they're a nuisance. Since Ottawa is the seat of power in
Canada, we've also been able to ensure the proposed amendments to the
Animal Cruelty Bill have never seen the light of day. And to drive our
message home, we promise to do our best to keep progressive wildlife
rehabilitation services from ever again being offered to those in the
community who think it's a good thing to save, rehabilitate and release
injured and orphaned wildlife back into the wild. Ottawa, we should all
Who you gonna call?
Friday April 20, 2007
What a frustrating experience it must have been to try and find help for
Bucky The Beaver for his rescuers. Do they call the OMNR, who are
supposed to be the guardians of wildlife in our province? Hardly, this
Ministry is so under funded for wildlife help, and has most of its funds
funneled to a non existent rabies threat, they can barely afford gas for
their vehicles. Call a veterinarian? One veterinary clinic told them
that they were not allowed to help the beaver without the prior
permission of the OMNR. No wonder, with such regressive rehab
restrictions imposed by this ministry, and threats of fines for helping
animals in distress, veterinarians are probably afraid to get involved.
Call the Wildlife Centre? If only we had one in Ottawa. Again the
Ministry has effectively shut down the only help animals had in this
city. This senseless act of cruelty towards wildlife just living out
their existence on one of the very few wetlands areas we have left them
with reiterates the need for changes at the provincial level to
implement a more animal friendly Ministry. We need the Ottawa Carleton
Wildlife Center back functioning as it used to, helping animals in
With respect to illegal or "legal" traps in use in our city, one has to
wonder why we are still treating the creatures with whom we share
Ottawa's habitat with such barbarity. Does creating a "green and
environmentally sensitive city" somehow exclude wildlife? The public is
justifiably outraged over a young beaver's agonized writhings in an
illegal trap found on a public footpath, but what about all the killing
by trapping, shooting and gassing of beavers and groundhogs by "legal"
trappers, the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa that
the public does not see? Are we going to wait until a human strays into
a trap before we call a halt to subjecting wildlife to such horribly
slow and painful deaths?
How can we classify a trap as "humane", anyway? Because it kills faster
and more efficiently? Does this somehow make the senseless killing of
harmless animals any better?
Use humane alternatives
While the beaver that was trapped on NCC land at Watts Creek was trapped
"illegally", the public needs to know that the City of Ottawa and the
NCC continue to "legally" trap and kill beaver each year.
The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre believes that these out-of-date
methods of dealing with beaver problems must be stopped. Other
jurisdictions in North America are using progressive alternatives such
as beaver deceivers or flow devices that keep the water at a level so
that roads are not flooded while trees can also be effectively protected
in a variety of ways.
We are eliminating or encroaching on wetlands and flood plains in Ottawa
at an alarming rate. If we are going to allow housing and shopping
centers to be built on critical wildlife habitat, the very least we must
do is to build in some problem-prevention features. Besides, prevention
is also a lot less expensive for taxpayers.
Beavers are an important species in creating valuable wetlands and
conserving biodiversity. As Canada's national emblem they are deserving
of a more informed understanding and respect.
Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre
The Ottawa Citizen
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Re: Unlucky Bucky, April 17.
I cannot fathom why anyone would set traps in an urban area,
especially when the beavers there have no impact on humans.
What a horrible experience for the people who found Bucky and
who were forced to euthanize him, and what a cruel end for this
Some of us have moved on from the mentality of the 18th century
when the treatment of our environment and wildlife was a
free-for-all, and we want to see humane, preventive solutions.
When the authorities find the person who set these traps in a
space where adults, children, and pets walk daily, they must be
prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.
© The Ottawa Citizen 2007