Like all of us, I hate to see our wildlife killed. People who speed down local roads, such as Temescal Canyon and Palisades Drive, especially during twilight and nighttime, run the risk of hitting something, such as a deer. I have reported on too many animals being killed.
When I walk down Temescal Canyon towards the ocean, which I do often, I look up to the hills and I often see adult deer and their fawns, which will hopefully grow to become adults and reproduce. I love that we live on this wildlife interface. Whether we are environmentalists or not, we need to understand we have a sacred trust with the land and animals. We need to protect both.
Last week, when I received a photo of a deer that had been struck by a car and died along Temescal, I printed it, with the hopes that more people would be compelled to slow down.
Three days later, I was aghast when I received a photo of deer’s carcass, which had not yet been gathered up by city workers.
In Joseph M. Marshall’s book “Walking with Grandfather: The Wisdom of Lakota Elders,” he writes: “We human beings, by and large, regard ourselves as the superior form of life on this Earth. We have certainly affected, largely negatively, all other forms of life and the environment itself. . . .We tend to think we have ‘progressed’ beyond the ‘archaic’ philosophies of our predecessors regarding anything. But the one area in which this attitude is most damaging is the overblown idea of our place in the physical environment.”
In response to the photo, readers wrote:
* “We have never had a problem with getting someone to come for pickup. Maybe no one took the time to do it. Whoever hit the deer or moved it should have called the correct LA City number. We’ve had two deer on our property killed. Perhaps it was someone who didn’t live here. . . maybe the person doesn’t know that number exists. Maybe you can put the number on your site. Thanks!”
* “Really? You felt compelled to share this tragic and incredibly sad photo to make your point?!!!!”
* “Someone has to call City Sanitation. The number is 800-773-2489.”
* “How many folks just passed by and never used their cell phones?”
* “Perhaps some type of note or warning [on your site] for those of us that may not want to see such graphic photos?! I think this is the second photo this week?”
* “Not wishing to be a Monday morning quarterback, but someone, including me, could have called 311 to report the dead deer to animal control.”
* “I am so sad and upset over this deer. Any way I can ask the future posts of graphic things will have an ALERT for readers? It’s very jarring. Perhaps that was the intent.”
*This has nothing to do with taxes – It has EVERYTHING to do with simple health laws. Surely there is some law about removing large animal bodies that have been killed in order to keep rotting meat away from the public and the vision of the half-eaten deer away from the kids! I can’t believe no one called the Department of Sanitation at 311 to have the poor thing picket up. For something like this, they come out within 24 hours. I called them and they didn’t have a record of any call but will come out now and see what to do if anything is left. The kind lady on the other end of the phone was flabbergasted.”
I was feeling so sad about the deer and that my words were not working. It’s hard to believe that no one called.
I thought maybe a graphic photo would help bring attention to the fact that way too many people speed down Temescal and Palisades Drive, imperiling people and deer alike.
Our treatment of the wildlife here extends beyond the deer to how we treat raptors and eventually the mountain lions. I’ve written about how when we use rat poison, we not only poison the rats, but the animals that feed on them, such as the barn owls, the coyotes, the bobcats and the mountain lions.
There is a magnificent barn owl that I spotted in Temescal Gateway Park—the bird will kill an enormous amount of vermin, but if these vermin have poison in their system, it will also eventually kill the owl.
Every homeowner who has deployed rat poison boxes needs to pick them up and figure out a different way to deal with the problem—and that includes the white boxes around the stores in Caruso’s Palisades Village.
We are close neighbors with wildlife, and whether it be racoons, skunks, coyotes or deer, we need to learn to coexist with these neighbors, rather than obliterate them.