One of the many advantages of living here in Florida is the abundant wildlife. Yet, human overpopulation is threatening our natural resources at an alarming rate. Interestingly enough, most people move here because they want to be connected to nature. They want a slower pace of life. And it is not just retired folks who move here, but young growing families want a simpler way of life too. All of us living in harmony with nature seems so idyllic. Yet, I keep hearing stories about animals being killed or separated from each other by no fault of their own. Many of these animals have been here longer than most of us. For instance, the alligators’ habitat is quickly being destroyed and they are running out of space. And if someone spots an alligator near developed areas, they call to have it removed. In other words, most of the time the alligator is destroyed. Yet, most people must know that alligators do live in Florida before they move here. So, why not accept the fact that alligators are a part of life here without having them destroyed? It’s not just alligators that are viewed as a nuisance. Just a couple of weeks ago, there was a local story here that went national. Specifically, there was a hawk that just gave birth to two baby hatchlings. As any new mom would be, she was protective of her babies. Unfortunately, her nest was located in a residential development that would prove to be a costly mistake. If the homeowner got too close to her nest, she would fly down aggressively. At one point, the homeowner said that the hawk scratched him. So the homeowner called the authorities, and they decided to grant him permission to have the baby hatchlings removed from the nest. Humans using “bird puppets” will now raise them. And what about mom? She will be heartbroken beyond belief! So, the end result is families are broken up, but is this a viable solution? Were there no other reasonable alternatives? In my opinion, we need to look at the whole picture, not just what is good for us in the short-term. Empathy is a virtue. Let’s have some empathy for people and animals too.
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