Monday, 1 December 2008

Urban Bycatch in Anchorage

I promised myself I wouldn't blog over the holiday weekend, so I'll schedule this for Monday. Hopefully, I'll be out north of town then, in 40 mile country.

What got my attention so? An ADN story, of course. You probably don't want to read it, if you're squeamish. But with that warning, here's the link. For those who don't want to go, an Anchorage dog was caught inside a conibear within Anchorage City limits. It's always regrettable when a family pet gets caught in a trap. But this is a classic case of resource conflict.

The tendency in these situations is to pin the blame on the trapper. This is especially the case in areas where people have differing views of animals - animals as a nusience, vs. animals as a resource, etc. In this case, the tendency is towards personification of family pets. I had a lot more to say about this, but I've deleted it, and I'll skip to the bit where I complain about the author.

Frankly, the ADN article isn't helping people keep things even handed. The bias is pretty heavy handed.

It's also a crime for any person, with criminal negligence, to maim, mutilate, torture, kill or do any number of horrible things to animals.

The last clause seems rather inflamitory. Actually, quite a bit of the story seems inflamitory towards the trapper. The only people they talk to are people who go on about how wonderful the dog is - to the owners, the dog was like a child. Would they ever admit they did anything wrong? Possibly, but that's highly unlikely. Generally, people cast the blame on everyone but themselves. If they accept a role in the accident, they accept only a minor one at best. It's just basic human nature.

The story seemed agressively skewed, until I recognized the author's name. I've commened about her articles before. It's pretty clear how she views any sort of trapping, even deep in the wilderness, away from people. Why they let her write about anything animal related is beyond me, because impartiality goes right out the window.


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