Last night on our neighborhood list-serv, someone mentioned that a grey fox was running down the main thoroughfare. But don't worry, our urban neighbor assured us, she had called animal control.
Animal control? Admittedly, I come from a state so used to wildlife that the big story of recent weeks was that an on-duty cop shot and killed a local elk beloved by residents. I realize I may be on the other extreme. (Though I wouldn't, say, participate in "a 'silent' march on the Pearl Street Mall to honor the elk" as Boulder, Colorado, residents did last night.)
But why in the world would you be calling animal control because a pretty little fox is in the neighborhood?
What's particularly galling about this is that our neighborhood is one of those hard-core environmentalist areas (my neighbor two doors down flies an earth flag year round and the bumper stickers show strong support for the environmentalist cause). We have to pay ridiculous fees for water treatment since we live near the Chesapeake Bay. And yet you bring some actual nature into the urban area, and people want the animal removed?
In our neighborhood bound by train tracks and asphalt and hoardes of people, I've seen varieties of foxes, tons of possum, raccoons, hawks, even a turkey vulture -- and for these I'm grateful. I also realize that it's good to have some wildlife in the 'hood. It's good to be reminded that the homo sapiens aren't the only living beings that populate the area and it's good to be reminded of our relationship to the beasts.
I've wanted to call animal control on some of my neighbors, at times, but never for the little grey fox running down the street.