Letter — Respect for animals a must | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter — Respect for animals a must

Tahoe Daily Tribune

Families who choose to make Lake Tahoe their new home, or for a few days vacation destination, should come here with respect and reverence, not only for its beauty but the fragile environment and the many kinds of wildlife that we share our homes with everyday. It is very disheartening to hear about some friends who have lost family pets to poisoning, intended for wild animals to ingest. This is not only unethical but illegal.

As a volunteer with Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, I have witnessed the poisoning of some of our wildlife, mainly our golden eagles. These majestic birds of prey naturally eat carcasses of other dead animals, part of the cleaning process in conservation. They sometimes ingest an animal that was cruelly poisoned and then the eagles become very sick, sometimes having irreversible consequences to their health. The food chain is yet, another wonderful, natural process in the wild, and perhaps people who come to live amongst our wildlife should be more informed when either purchasing a home or renting it for the weekend. It comes down to a question of who is responsible for informing the ignorant or, the well-intentioned newcomers to the delicate balance of nature we are trying so hard to preserve and protect?

A suggestion for those who look at our animals as a nuisance, perhaps they should go back to where they came from and deal with the harsh realities of city life. I would rather be confronted with a mama raccoon and her babies than a carjacker any day of the week.

If you suspect someone in your neighborhood is either poisoning or poaching our wildlife, contact Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and they can better direct you of how to stop this illegal and unacceptable activity.

Deidre Benham

South Lake Tahoe