City Critters

City Critters

Wildlife in the Urban Jungle

Book - 2012
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Discusses the lives of wild animals that live in a North American urban environment.
Publisher: Victoria, BC : Orca Book Publishers, c2012
ISBN: 9781554693948
Characteristics: 134 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 23 cm


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Aug 10, 2017

I love all animals, especially the critters of this city, who are homeless, hungry. And so I feed them. You can't imagine the variety of reactions from the public, when they notice what I am doing. We are a "cultural mosaic," and the reaction of the public to my activity of feeding critters reflects this. The Buddhists bless me, and the Filippino Catholics call me "Saint Francis," but some of the others of the "mosaic" call me "idiot," and curse me or call the Police on me. Now, what is this "mosaic" good for, if there are such opposing views in the minds of people, who, in principle, are all "Canadians?" This is the same as with Democracy. A constant fighting of opposing views, and those views encompass not only animals but certainly people too. A freedom to bicker, with a mix of views all around. My neighbors make remarks when they pass before my window, where the curtains are always drawn. I don't watch them and I don't want to be watched. And they say: "I can't get it," and "this is ridiculous." But the local custom here is to keep windows with curtains apart and full light on inside, and they still speak about "privacy" and "private propeDy" and they expect me not to stop on the sidewalk or not to look aside or not to take photos of animals outside, else they say I peep into their windows. Now, about this, I think: "strange customs," and this seems to be an expansion of their territory even at the expense of those who go on the sidewalks. When I took flash photos of squirrels or raccoons beside the sidewalk, at least twice, people called the Police on me. Now, returning to the critters - pigeons are a symbol of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament and they are present and loved all over Europe, but here officially they are called a "pest" or "vermin." Wow, Saint Mark's Square in Venice is full of "vermin," where people feed them and they sit on peoples' hands. OK, so, for feeding the pigeons, these ancient symbols of peace and love, I am called here both an "idiot" and a "Saint." This is not a national unity of minds, let's admit it. In my own culture, which is the Hungarian, one calls his beloved: "my little dove/pigeon." And the popular painted motives contain pigeons as a symbol of love. And I lived on a farm when a child in Hungary, and we had pigeons nesting in the garret, and I saw a flock of pigeons flying overhead and it was part of life for us. Now, in a democratic mosaic we snarl and smile at each other for the very same thing, which is considered holy and cursed at the same time by the popular mix. Could we just be tolerant toward all living things and don't call names? I love critters better than I love people and this same opinion was expressed to me by some other people too.

SPL_Childrens Nov 20, 2013

Far from the oceans’ depths, the wild animals featured in Nicholas Read’s City Critters live right in our own cities and towns, and even in our backyards.

Why do some animals choose to live in urban areas? Where exactly do they live, and how do they manage to survive?

While some creatures such as raccoons and squirrels are attracted to the abundant sources of food in cities, the sad truth is that many animals and birds don’t “choose” to live among people. They have little choice because wilderness habitats around the world are quickly disappearing with urban sprawl and deforestation.

Some animals - chipmunks, squirrels, skunks and raccoons, among others – have proven to be remarkably adaptable to urban life, living in parks, golf courses and backyards. Rivers and harbors also shelter a surprising diversity of creatures, including otters, waterfowl, fish, turtles and even large sea creatures such as seals and dolphins.

Nicholas Read’s well-researched, informative book addresses the causes of and solutions to conflicts between people and city-dwelling wildlife. Complete with interesting anecdotes of human-animal encounters and captivating photography, City Critters reminds us that we share our world with many other creatures – and that urban areas can play an important role in preserving biodiversity.


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SPL_Childrens Nov 20, 2013

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