Pay attention and respect area’s wildlife

Sometimes, I feel quite embarrassed to be a part of the human race. How much longer do we continue to abuse the amazing gifts that nature has to offer before we realize we are losing so much? After reading heart-breaking articles about a wild bear being shot (which happens too often), I drove down 32nd Street early one morning to find seven trash cans in a row knocked over, with their contents strewn about. More than likely, this was the act of a bear.

As I continued my drive, I noticed at least five more cans on that same street had suffered the same fate. Doesn’t the city have bear-proof cans available? Are people so lazy that they can’t get up before the trash truck comes to put their trash out? They have to put it out at night?

The bear that was recently “expired” by a Parks and Wildlife officer wasn’t the guilty party. It died because of the actions of ignorant and uncaring humans who fail to take the proper precautions to keep the bear away. Even more disturbing was a doe leading her fawn down the sidewalk along Camino del Rio. The poor fawn was dragging its back leg, one can assume the outcome of being hit by a car.

Can we not pay attention long enough to see a deer in the road? On Camino del Rio? How about following the speed limit and paying attention? I have spoken to some people who tell me it is inevitable. If you live and drive in the rural parts of Colorado, you are going to hit a deer eventually. Well, I’ve been living in Vallecito and driving to Bayfield or Durango for seven years now – usually at 5 a.m., when wildlife is quite active. I haven’t hit one yet, and don’t plan on it. Look around, people, pay attention. Let’s learn to appreciate and respect wildlife – and keep it wild.

Dawn Malinowsky

Vallecito