Much of the Tittabawassee River floodplain has been contaminated by dioxin from a Dow Chemical plant. (Photo courtesy of Michigan DOT)
A recent court ruling found that Dow Chemical Company does not have to pay to monitor the health of people living in a Michigan floodplain contaminated with dioxin. The dioxin is a by-product of the manufacturing process for chemicals made by Dow. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Tracy Samilton reports:
A recent court ruling found that Dow Chemical Company does not have
to pay to monitor the health of people living in a Michigan floodplain
contaminated with dioxin. The dioxin is a byproduct of the
manufacturing process for chemicals made by Dow. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Tracy Samilton
Dioxin is implicated in liver problems and cancer. At least twenty-two miles of
the Tittabawassee River floodplain in central Michigan are contaminated
with dioxin from a Dow Chemical plant.
Homeowners said Dow should pay for
ongoing tests to monitor the amount of dioxin in their blood. Now that
the court has ruled against them, floodplain resident Kathy Henry says the
only thing people can do is try to keep more dioxin from getting into their
“I wear a dust mask when I mow, we don’t eat any of
neighbors’ produce that they offer us that’s grown in the floodplain, and after we mow the lawn or we’re working out in gardens or yard, we come in and throw our clothes in the
laundry right away and jump in the shower to wash it off of us.”
Dow Chemical has commissioned a one-time study to compare dioxin levels in
people who live in the floodplain with levels found among people in another
Teflon is best known for making pans similar to this one "non-stick." But in Teflon's production at an Ohio plant, some of the chemical's ingredients have seeped into the groundwater. (Photo by Davide Guglielmo)
The non-stick substance Teflon is made at a DuPont plant near the Ohio-West Virginia border. The groundwater around this area has been contaminated by a chemical used to make Teflon. The chemical is known as C8. Now, 60,000 residents will be tested to find out whether the chemical is harmful to human health. It could end up being the largest public health screening to occur in the United States. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Fred Kight reports:
The non-stick substance Teflon is made at a DuPont plant near the Ohio-West Virginia border. The groundwater around this area has been contaminated by a chemical used to make Teflon. The chemical is known as C8. Now, sixty thousand residents will be tested to find out whether the chemical is harmful to human health. It could end up being the largest public health screening to occur in the United States. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Fred Kight reports:
The testing is just getting underway on people who have been drinking water contaminated by C8.
It’s being done as part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the company.
Residents of nearby water districts accuse the company of witholding information about the health threats posed by C8. Project coordinator Art Maher says medical histories, personal information and blood samples will be collected from the test subjects, who will be paid for their participation.
“That information then will be fed into a database that ultimately will be passed on to the next step of the settlement agreement, which would be the science panel who would interpret the data.”
If the experts determine there is a link between C8 and any disease, DuPont will be required to spend as much as 235 million dollars on a medical monitoring program for additional testing.
Egg collectors kept precise records about where and when their prize possessions were gathered. They carefully removed the contents of the egg, then nested the shells in cedar sawdust to protect them from insects. (Photo courtesy of Carrol Henderson)
The squiggly coloring on this rufous-backed shrike egg is from blood that accumulated in the shell as it formed. It was collected in India in 1919. (Photo courtesy of Carrol Henderson)
Carrol Henderson spend weeks photographing and cataloging the 3,600 eggs in the Handsaker collection. Now he's helping the Handsaker family donate the collection to a research institution. (Photo by Stephanie Hemphill)
More and more people say their favorite hobby is bird-watching. Many travel to hot bird-watching spots, and keep lists of which birds they see and where. A hundred years ago, birders were just as enthusiastic, but they practiced the hobby very differently. They collected bird eggs. A Midwestern farm family recently discovered an ancestor’s egg collection when they were remodeling an old farmhouse. Experts say the collection has a lot to offer to scientists studying birds today. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Stephanie Hemphill reports:
More and more people say their favorite hobby is
bird-watching. Many travel to hot bird-watching spots, and keep
lists of which birds they see and where. A hundred years ago,
birders were just as enthusiastic, but they practiced the hobby
very differently. They collected bird eggs.
A Midwestern farm family recently discovered an ancestor’s egg collection when they were
remodeling an old farmhouse. Experts say the collection has a
lot to offer to scientists studying birds today. The Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Stephanie Hemphill reports:
Carrol Henderson considers himself a very lucky man. He’s the director of the non-game wildlife program at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He grew up on a farm in central Iowa.
Last summer, he learned that a family in his old neighborhood was renovating a farmhouse. It had belonged to Ralph Handsaker. When Handsaker died thirty years ago, the house was boarded up and left alone.
“… And when the family started renovating this old farmhouse for the great-great-grandson, John Handsaker, along with a number of old animal mounts and interesting things, there were these two large chests with about fifteen drawers each, that were totally filled with little sets of wild bird eggs.”
The smallest egg, from a hummingbird, was small enough to sit on top of a dime. The biggest was an ostrich egg almost six inches long. Some were creamy white, others were speckled, others streaked with color like a Jackson Pollack painting.
There were more than 3,600 eggs, representing more than 400 species of birds from all over the world. And they were in perfect condition.
“Each set of eggs was very neatly labeled with information about the day they were collected, who the collector was, and information about the habitat where the egg was collected. Some of these eggs went all the way back to 1875, and they were collected by over three hundred different people from all over the world.”
This is how nature-lovers expressed their passion in those days. They called themselves oologists. They kept their eggs in drawers lined with cedar sawdust to protect them from insects. They also kept meticulous records.
“So the scientific data was very high quality among these avid collectors. So even today, these provide very important nest records for birds that are now gone. Like in my home county of Story County, Iowa, there were Marble Godwits, King Rails, Prairie Chickens, and Bobwhite Quail, and those are all gone now.”
The birds disappeared as people turned prairies into farms. But Carrol Henderson says the records in the bird collection provide detailed information about where and when they nested.
“And another intriguing thing is that when these people blew out the eggs, there was still a lining of the egg white or albumen left inside the egg. And that still has the original DNA genetic material, so it actually would be possible for scientists to do DNA analysis of these eggs to take a look at how they may compare with birds nowadays.”
Henderson says these collectors didn’t think they were harming the birds. That’s because if their eggs disappear, most birds will lay another set. But competition for the eggs of rare birds was disastrous.
“One person in Philadelphia had a collection of over seven hundred Peregrine Falcon eggs. Another Peregrine egg collector went to the same cliff and collected all the eggs from the Peregrines every year for 29 consecutive years. And then finally the nest was abandoned. And he said it was abandoned due to encroaching civilization. That was where egg collecting really had something of a dark side.”
Eventually, attitudes began to change. In 1918, the federal government passed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, to protect birds and eggs. But the government let three collectors keep on collecting. One of them was Ralph Handsaker. So his collection goes into the early 1950’s.
Carrol Henderson says there’s a lot to learn from these eggs. One of the best lessons is about human responsibility. Henderson says people these days enjoy nature differently than they did a hundred years ago. But we can still learn something from earlier methods.
“It’s like a little time machine: stepping back in time, seeing what was here, and then looking at what’s changed, and what does that mean for our own conservation efforts, how can we do a better job today to collect information and use that for our own conservation of wildlife species?”
Carrol Henderson’s article about the Handsaker egg collection will appear in the October issue of Birders World magazine. The Handsaker family is planning to donate the collection to a major university.
The piping plover is a tiny bird, about the size of a parakeet. (Photo courtesy of the USFWS)
The plover lays its eggs in nests of little round stones on wide open, sandy beaches. (Photo by Mark Brush)
Amanda Brushhaber and her crew building an exclosure around a plover nest to try to keep predators out and give the eggs a better chance of hatching. (Photo by Mark Brush)
The Endangered Species Act protects plants and animals that are on the brink of extinction. The American Bald Eagle and the Timber Wolf are examples of animals that have recovered because of the Act. But, some conservative members of Congress think the Endangered Species Act goes too far. They say the law often stands in the way of economic progress and private property rights. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mark Brush has this story:
The Endangered Species Act protects plants and animals that are on the brink
of extinction. The American Bald eagle and the Timber wolf are examples of
animals that have recovered because of the Act. But some conservative
members of Congress think the Endangered Species Act goes too far. They say
the law often stands in the way of economic progress and private property
rights. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mark Brush has this story:
(Sound of shoreline and low peeps of the plover)
The piping plover is a tiny little bird. It’s not much bigger than a parakeet. This plover scurries around on the beach. It’s making a distress call and showing a broken wing display because it’s
nervous about a group of people building a cage around its nest.
(Sound of metal cage rattling)
But the people are here to help; they’re trying to protect its nest. Plovers build their nests out of little round stones right on the beach. Amanda Brushaber is a biological technician with the National Park Service. She’s leading a group of volunteers who are working to save this rare little bird.
“Right now, we’re exclosing the nests that have eggs in them. The
exclosures keep the predators out, and keep the birds of prey out, so that
the eggs have a chance of making it to hatch, which takes 28 days.”
These birds are getting help because they were put on the Endangered Species
List back in 1986. At one point there were only eleven breeding pairs left in the Great Lakes
region. The birds like wide sandy beaches that have strips of stones and cobble.
But these shorelines have been under a lot of development pressure. And with more buildings and more people on the beaches, the bird’s had a tough time surviving.
The piping plover is just one of the more than 1,800 plants and animals that
are protected by the Endangered Species Act. The Act has been around for more than thirty years. It’s considered the strongest law in the world in protecting endangered
plants and animals, and for the most part, it’s remained unchanged since it was first passed.
But some members of Congress think the Endangered Species Act goes too far. They say enforcement of the Act is often heavy handed to the point that it’s an abuse of federal power.
California Congressman Richard Pombo chairs the House Committee on
Resources. He’s a vocal critic of the Act. Brian Kennedy is a spokesperson for Congressman Pombo and his Committee. He says the Congressman’s constituents are afraid of finding an endangered
species on their land because it could limit how they use their land.
“In other words, if the federal government finds an endangered species on a
fraction of an individual’s private property, he loses the use of that
property and then when that individual goes to sell it, it is worth less
than it would be otherwise.”
Private property advocates say they want owners compensated for this loss. Otherwise they say their rights to their land are being taken away. They refer to this loss as a ‘taking.’ But people who enforce the Act say there’s a lot of misunderstanding about
what it means.
Jack Dingledine is a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He says they work closely with landowners to make sure a development won’t harm a protected species.
“If a landowner finds an endangered species on their property, they do have
an obligation not to harm the species when it’s there. It doesn’t mean that
we’re going to close beaches, and we don’t seize people’s property, but we
would ask that they consider any actions that might harm the species.”
Harming a species includes damaging the place where it lives – even if that
habitat is on privately owned land. And this is what makes private property advocates bristle. They see this as an infringement on their rights to do whatever they want
with their land.
Several bills are being developed that would change the way the Act is
implemented. The sponsors of these bills say the changes they want to make to the
Endangered Species Act will be an improvement.
But supporters of the Act say these bills do nothing to improve the law. Kieran Suckling is with the Center for Biological Diversity. He says these critics of the Endangered Species Act are hiding their true
“Down the line, these are all industry sponsored bills that have no purpose
other than to get rid of environmental protection to benefit industry,
period. They can spin it any way they want, but at the end of the day, that’s
what their bill says.”
Supporters of the Endangered Species Act are troubled by the way Congress
has changed its tune. When the Act was first passed 32 years ago, Congress voted for it by a 355
to 4 margin. The law was extremely popular because there was a sense of urgency about
protecting endangered plants and animals.
Many environmentalists are concerned that if the Endangered Species Act is
weakened now, we’ll see more wildlife wiped out of existence.
Emperor penguins and their chicks are featured in this documentary. (Photo courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
A film about penguins in Antarctica is being shown in art house theatres around the country. People who’ve seen the film are linking the destruction of the penguins’ habitat to the effects of global warming. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chris McCarus reports:
A film about penguins in Antarctica is being shown in art
house theatres around the country. People who’ve seen the film are
linking the destruction of the penguins’ habitat to the effects of global
warming. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chris McCarus reports.
(Sound of music from the film)
The film March of the Penguins shows the birds at their cutest. Emperor penguins cradle their babies between their legs. They slide on their bellies on the ice. And they seem to kiss like people.
Joe Hawkey is a seventeen-year-old who saw a screening of the movie. He says our energy consumption is endangering penguins and other Antarctic wildlife. But, he says, it’s clear to him that people can do things to help.
“Turn off your lights. Unplug your tv. There’s lots of things you can do. So much pollution, especially with like, automobiles I think a lot more people should try and give their bikes a chance. Even walking. Cause even… help the environment. It’d be healthy for you too you know.”
The March of the Penguins film is based more on emotions than facts. But this approach might also have more impact on the audience.
The Ottawa tribe of Oklahoma has filed suit in federal court, claiming it still owns fishing rights in Lake Erie… but that’s prompting natural resources officials to worry about the prospect of over-fishing in the lake. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Bill Cohen reports:
The Ottawa tribe of Oklahoma has filed suit in federal court,
claiming it still owns fishing rights in Lake Erie, but that’s
prompting natural resources officials to worry about the prospect of
over-fishing in the lake. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Bill
Members of the Ottawa tribe say a 200-year-old treaty gave them fishing
rights, but Ohio officials who regulate fishing are hoping the tribe
doesn’t win its lawsuit.
They say, since the tribe is a sovereign nation,
the Native Americans would not have to abide by state limits on fish
catches, and that could ruin the business of the commercial fishing
companies that rely on the lake.
The Ottawa’s lawyer, Dick Rogovin, says the state could compensate.
“If these tribes take a lot of fish out of the water, I think the state’s
got to put fish back in. That’s their obligation: to supply fish for
Some Native American tribes do have fishing rights in other parts of the
Great Lakes, but court agreements between the tribes and the states put
limits on the catch of fish in those areas.
The American Elm was devastated by Dutch elm disease. (Photo courtesy of VA Department of Forestry)
The American elm was found throughout forests in the Midwest before Dutch elm disease took hold. The disease cut the population of elms by more than half. Now, the U.S. Forest Service wants to re-establish the stately tree. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sandra Harris reports:
The American Elm was found throughout forests in the Midwest before Dutch elm disease took hold. The disease cut the population of elms by more than half. Now, the U.S. Forest Service wants to reestablish the American Elm. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sandra Harris reports.
The Forest Service is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a small tree-planting project along the Mississippi River. Randy Urich is a natural resources officer with the Corps. He says it’s one of several similar projects aimed at brining back American Elms.
The trees were once a major part of flood plain forests. Urich says the tree was lost to Dutch elm disease beginning in the 1930’s.
“One of the characteristics of elm is that it’s very tolerant of shade, and in these floodplain forests you have a tendency to get some very dense overstory canopy, and because of that shade tolerance, the elms are really good at regenerating themselves.”
Researchers are developing disease-resistant American Elms by using various cloning techniques, including cloning trees that have naturally survived the disease.
Particulate matter is an air pollution problem the EPA is trying to reduce. (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)
Federal regulators are looking at two plans for reducing the amount of soot in the air. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports, public health advocates say tougher regulations would prevent thousands of premature deaths from heart and lung disease:
Federal regulators are looking at two plans for reducing the
amount of soot in the air. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah
Hulett reports, public health advocates say tougher regulations would
prevent thousands of premature deaths from heart and lung disease.
One of the plans would cut the amount of pollution in a 24-hour period by more than half. A second plan would allow a little more soot each day, but it would cut the total amount allowed each year. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson is expected to make a make a choice between the two plans by the end of the year.
EPA researchers looked at the links between air pollution and premature death in nine U.S. cities. Janice Nolen is the director of national policy for the American Lung Association.
“In those nine cities they were estimating that each year, about five thousand people died of particle pollution, where the standards are right now.”
Nolen says the standards EPA is considering would greatly reduce those deaths. The new standards would take effect in the fall of 2006.
A street in Havana, Cuba. After more than 40 years of a U.S. economic embargo and more than a decade after the loss of their Soviet trading partners, Cubans have learned to improvise and make do with old stuff - cars, machines, and even medical equipment. (Photo by Ann Murray)
Tons of medical materials that normally would end up in U.S. landfills are being rescued, repackaged and sent to other countries. An aid group is working with local hospitals and volunteers to get surplus medical supplies to Latin America and the Caribbean. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Ann Murray takes us on the trip from salvage to salvation:
Tons of medical materials that normally would end up in U.S.
landfills are being rescued, repackaged and sent to other countries.
An aid group is working with local hospitals and volunteers to get
surplus medical supplies to Latin America and the Caribbean. The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Ann Murray takes us on the trip from
salvage to salvation.
(Sound of warehouse activities)
In a warehouse near Pittsburgh, Global Links staffers are preparing to load a shipment of medical aid into a forty-foot container bound for Cuba. Workers haul pallets of dialysis kits, mattresses, waiting room chairs and gurneys to the loading dock. Everything here has been carefully sorted, evaluated, and matched with requests from the Cuban Ministry of Health.
Kathleen Hower founded Global Links with two friends back in 1989. It used to operate out of their houses. Since then, Global Links has sent $110 million worth of medical aid, all of it requested by the receiving countries. About two-thirds of that has gone to Cuba.
“Cuba’s unique in so many ways; they’re very advanced medically, they do transplant surgery, they have a lot of doctors. There’s no shortage of physicians there. They’re very different than other countries.”
What Cuba shares with other developing countries is critical shortages of equipment and supplies.
(Sound of busy street)
Here in Havana, the streets are filled with Eisenhower-era cars and lined with shops that repair everything from pots to paperbacks. After more than forty years of a U.S. economic embargo and more than a decade after the loss of their Soviet trading partners, Cubans are masters of improvisation.
The same is true for the island’s medical community, says Sebastion Pererra, the former director of Cuba’s Center for Electromedicine.
PERERRA/TRANSLATOR: “The embargo has been like a school for us. It taught us how to keep working with the same machines and not have the identical parts to replace them.”
Pererra says parts and technical information from Global Links have helped keep old medical equipment going. They’ve also supported new programs in breast cancer screening and dialysis research.
MURRAY: “Has the equipment that Global Links sent to you saved lives?”
PERERRA/TRANSLATOR: “It is undeniable.”
Global Links sends materials to Cuba that other countries can’t use. That’s because medical care is not as advanced in many other developing countries.
Doctor Armando Pancorbo uses the salvaged equipment for minimally invasive surgery at the aging hospital where he works. He and his team have done nearly four thousand operations, using equipment and supplies that were thrown out by U.S. hospitals.
This morning, the O.R. is busy. Anesthesiologists prepare a middle-aged patient for gallbladder surgery while nurses set up sterilized instruments.
Back in Global Links’ Pittsburgh office, volunteers help with the labor-intensive job of packing supplies for shipping. Kristin Carreira says this work is helpful on two fronts.
“Our mission here is both humanitarian and environmental. Environmental because all of our medical supplies that we’re working on would have been put in an incinerator or landfill and so we’re really recycling in that sense.”
The American Hospital Association estimates that U.S. hospitals produce about three million tons of waste every year and they pay about three billion dollars to dispose of it. Many of the supplies that end up in the trash are opened but unused. Worries about liability, changes in technology, and a rash of government regulations account for much of the still-useful materials being thrown out.
Vicky Carse is a nurse who traveled to Cuba as a volunteer.
“Seeing people re-washing gloves where we just would open gloves and throw them away, drapes that we just open up and throw away. To see these people harbor these items, re-wash them and re-wash them because they don’t have supplies, just makes you value what you have.”
The medical community is beginning to take notice. More and more US hospitals are contacting aid organizations. Laura Brannen directs a joint environmental program for the American Hospital Association and the U.S. EPA. She says Global Links and similar groups offer hospitals much needed guidance.
“They provide the infrastructure around what can be used around the world. And without those guidelines, hospitals would be tossing this kind of materials because they don’t know where else to send it.”
Global Links founder Kathleen Hower is happy to set up the guide posts. She says we have to realize that we are all members of a much broader community – one that could use our help, even when it’s a matter of just sharing stuff we’d normally throw away.
People sometimes move to the outer suburbs to be a little closer to nature. But when nature turns out to be a squirrel storing nuts in your attic or a raccoon looking for a free meal in your garbage can, there's conflict. (Photo by Lester Graham)
Some animals have adapted to urban areas. Canada geese, once rare, now irritate people because they defecate everywhere and sometimes damage lawns. (Photo by Lester Graham)
Throughout the Midwest, it’s becoming more and more common
to see wild animals living in the city and the suburbs. The number of coyotes, deer and Canada geese is growing. And suburbs keep sprawling… but the animals there stay put, and adapt to the new surroundings. That can cause conflicts between the animals… and people. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Ann-Elise Henzl reports:
Throughout the Midwest, it’s becoming more and more common
to see wild animals living in the city and the suburbs. The number of
coyotes, deer and Canada geese is growing. And suburbs keep sprawling…
but the animals there stay put, and adapt to the new surroundings. That
can cause conflicts between the animals… and people. The Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Ann-Elise Henzl reports:
It can get busy at wildlife rehabilitation centers. At this center, five thousand animals are treated and released each year. There’s a big variety, ranging from raccoons to sandhill cranes.
(Sound of birds chirping)
In spring and early summer, it’s very crowded in the nursery.
“We’ve got a young grackle in here, and he’s really on about the one-hour feeding stage learning the transition between us feeding him and feeding himself…”
Scott Diehl is the manager of the wildlife rehabilitation center at the Wisconsin humane society in Milwaukee. Dozens of young animals are being nursed back to health here in incubators and cages.
“Here’s little teenage gray squirrels in here playing around and goofing off and their play activity actually teaches them how to – it helps build their muscles, and teaches them how to climb…”
Many of the babies are here because their parents were run over by cars. That’s what happened to a female mallard who’s being examined by a wildlife rehabilitator, in the “triage” room.
“He’s just outstretching the wings, he’s feeling over the bones to see if he feels fractures and I can see from here that the left wing that he is examining looks like it has fractured metacarpals, so that’s the outer wing, kind of analogous to our fingers, we’ve got actually a little blood showing there. And so Mike is just going to flush that wound out with a little saline now he’s going to examine things, and quite frankly it doesn’t look like she’s using her legs well either.”
It turns out the duck has numerous broken bones and other serious health problems, so she’s euthanized. Mallards are often hit by cars in cities. That’s because they nest in grassy areas, then walk their babies to the water. That can mean crossing a number of streets.
Ricky Lein is the urban wildlife specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
He says people and animals are always getting into some kind of conflict in urban areas.
“Recently I had a person come in who owned twenty acres in a suburban area and talked about how they enjoyed the coyotes as long as they stayed on their territory but the coyote had made the decision to come into their backyard and eat a family cat, and I tried in a very polite way to point out that was the coyote’s territory.”
Lein says urban sprawl also causes problems by creating places that attract some wild animals
like white-tailed deer. They like areas where the woods meet wide-open lawns. That describes many suburban neighborhoods.
As a result, there are now more deer across the Midwest then ever before,
and the population of Canada geese is exploding in the same area. Lein says the geese have found their version of “heaven.”
“A lot of urban parks, condo complexes, whatnot, where you have a pond or storm water run-off pond and they keep five to ten acres of grass mowed around it, and they’ve eliminated hunting… that is heaven to a Canada goose.”
But some communities are considering killing urban geese in order to reduce the population.
Other cities have hired sharpshooters to kill urban deer. So the Humane Society of the United States has created a program called “Wild Neighbors.” Maggie Brasted is the organization’s director for urban wildlife conflicts.
“One of our goals is to help people find solutions so that they can coexist with these wild neighbors, with the wildlife around them, ’cause you know sometimes there are real problems. There are real concerns. It’s not that every time someone is upset about wild animals around them that they should just be told, “Oh just live with it,” there are real issues so we want to be able to offer them real practical solutions other than killing the animals.”
Brasted says there’s a complex relationship between humans and wild animals in urban areas.
“It’s not real simple to just say that you know they were here first or they shouldn’t be here. Or why are they around people? They’re adapting to what we do, they’re adapting to the changes we make. They’re taking advantage of whatever habitat niche that they find.”
Brasted says the wild animals that live in the city and suburbs are there to stay. So people will either have to find ways to live with them or to control their population.