By Vern and Lori Gieger
Live and Let Live
a result of the recent announcements published by Profepa (Federal Bureau
of Environmental Protection, a division of Semarnat) regarding environmental
laws, we have received several questions from individuals, who still
didn’t understand the laws. Basically put, it is a federal crime,
to do the following without a permit from Semarnat: trap, poison,
keep in your possession, buy or sell any wild specie of animal, that
is endemic to Mexico, rare, under special protection, threatened or
endanger of extinction.
Due to the recent rash of blatant violations
of the above-mentioned laws, the foreign community is being monitored
much more closely. Believe us you don’t want to be the one who
is used to set an example. That could result in imprisonment, and/or
several thousand dollars in fines, or even deportation. Everyone, foreigners
included, need to respect these laws. Much more is at stake than just
Morally speaking, we do not have the right
to kill wildlife simply because they are not to our liking or because
they cause a little inconvenience. We do not have the exclusive right
to life on this planet. We must realize this is their home too and everyone
should have respect and compassion for other living creatures. Unlike
people they don’t construct walls, fences and shop at a grocery
store; they are just struggling to survive in what little habitat is
left. When we invade their habitat, we must expect that sooner or later
they are going to wander into what we regard as our territory.
There are benign things one can do to
discourage their presence. First and foremost don’t leave
your pets’ food outside. Have your gardener pick up fruit that
has fallen from trees. Eliminate hiding places in your yard such as
brush piles or building materials. Most nocturnal animals don’t
like light consider motion lights or leave a patio light on at night.
Hang a wind chime or two to make a little noise.
What about a snake in your yard? The answer
should be obvious—do nothing, just leave it alone. If it finds
nothing to eat, it will leave. Which would you prefer, a snake in your
yard, or inundation of rats and mice? Could it be poisonous? Some seem
to think we are over run with venomous snakes; we are not. There are
89 species of snakes in the interior of Jalisco; only two are venomous.
One may encounter a rattlesnake or a coral snake in Jalisco. The coral
snakes are in danger of extinction; you have a better chance of being
struck by lightning than seeing a true coral snake. We have been rescuing
wildlife for ten years and have never encountered a true coral
snake. We have received several calls from people who thought they had
found a coral; all proved to be harmless milk snakes. However,
if it is causing you great distress we will relocate it.
On a positive note, some asked what they
should do if they encounter injured or orphaned wildlife. With any injury
medical attention should be sought immediately; a few hours can mean
the difference between life and death. If you are unable to reach us,
most animals can be easily picked up or wrapped in a towel and put in
a box. The following veterinarians have our phone number on file and
will contact us: Pepe Magaña, Luz Maria Perez, Ladron de Guevara
and Delfino Hernandez. If you would like to donate to the cost of the
treatment, you can give directly to the veterinarian; if not we will
take care of incurred costs.
The same applies to orphaned wildlife.
First one needs to determine if it is truly orphaned. The parents may
temporarily leave their young unattended for a variety of reasons. If
the baby is thin, dirty, very young and wandering about alone, it probably
is orphaned and needs help immediately. Baby birds are bit more complicated.
If possible, they should be returned to their nest. The next best thing
to do is make a man-made nest and place as close to their nest as possible.
Be sure to place it so that it is protected from the elements. Never
place in direct sunlight. The majority of the time, when the parents
feel it is safe, they will return and care for the baby.
Once you take the time and have the compassion
to save the life of a wild animal, you never look at them quite the