3G – Wild in the city

Supporting article G: Experience a touch of wild in the city.


Effects of wild animals moving into the city by Aldo Bonincontro

Our big and small cities are not only the reign of we humans but they attract various species of animals that decide to abandon their life in the wild nature of forests, rivers and swamps to live and reproduce among us; they are well hidden, in many cases and difficult to notice.

These species are attracted by the easy chance to find food in our rubbish, without needing anymore to hunt and fish (like for SEAGULLS); in other cases, they still have to hunt, but only easy preys, like birds, mice and even pets.

Another attraction are warm and safe places in old buildings, boxes, sewers, gardens, parks and even in our houses where to find shelters.

Also the absence of their natural predators attracts some animals like SQUIRRELS in parks and gardens, given that they’re too fast for the lazy cats of our houses and streets.
Usually, the most adaptable animals choose to live in towns.

In EUROPE, towns are the house for FOXES, looking for rubbish and also lizards and rats along the streets and in parks. Foxes are visible by night, when few people and cars circulate, while they stay in abandoned houses, along rivers and channels and in whatever hole during the day.

Then, some species of HAWKS and OWLS, live by night over and under the roofs of our houses.

I remember to have frequently heard the verse of the owl during the silent nights when I lived in Genoa, Italy, in a quiet residential zone of the town.

Also the elegant STORKS are returning to build their big nests on the roofs and chimneys of many medium and small towns, as it was very common many years ago.
Then, also PORCUPINES, SQUIRRELS and various species of birds like CROWS, DUCKS and GREEN PARROTS; the latter descend from parrots escaped from houses and become again wild just in our towns.

Parrots live and fly among trees, with their nests in the holes of walls and roofs.
Also for them, Genoa (my birth town) is a good place, thanks to its mild climate, for these green parrots with a long tail that find easily seeds and berries in parks and gardens.
They are very fast to fly, as I could see; I were so used to see parrots closed in the cages or tied on a perch that I felt happy to see them fly free among trees, although not in the tropical forests where their near ancestors lived.

Parrots are frequent in Genoa, but also in other towns along the Mediterranean Sea, for what I know.

In North America, the situation is similar, because not very different is climate from Europe; in various U.S. towns, there are RACCOONS, SQUIRRELS and some species of SNAKES. like the poisonous RATTLE SNAKE, especially in the dry States of SW of the U.S. (California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and so on) and in Mexico.

In the LATIN AMERICA, frequent are PYTHONS in the sewers and along rivers of many tropical towns, everywhere they can find many water, like in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Central America.

Also various species of SPIDERS live in houses and gardens and some of them, like the BLACK WIDOW, are very poisonous and difficult to see; they’re dangerous also because they can hide where you less imagine to find them, as in your shoes placed in your room or just outside on a balcony, inside drawers or under a table.

This risk is relatively high in all the tropical towns, like in Australia where there’s the record of poisonous species of spiders and snakes in the world and some of them can live in houses and gardens in every town.

They can profit of every hole, crack in a wall, pot for flowers and piece of furniture, when not cleaned and checked regularly.

In these towns, there are specialized groups of experts able to intervene when in your house or garden you find a big or poisonous snake or you have just discovered that your car box is full of poisonous spiders.

In SOUTH AFRICA, in some towns like Capetown, there are many groups of BABOONS, living and looking for food downtown, ready to profit of every occasion to grab and steal food that you let without control in shops and houses.

They are very intelligent and able to overcome your defensive measures; they can open your windows and doors when not perfectly closed and get into your house to rob everything, leaving a real battlefield because they search everywhere throwing down and crashing all the objects they meet to find food.

The same happens also in INDIA, where, in some towns, humans and MACAQUES live together in towns, with parallel lives, always featured by monkeys opportunism and human distraction in protecting food and producing rubbish.

In ASIA, I report from another interesting documentary seen on TV that, in many metropolis of the tropical Asia like Singapore, Kuala-Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila and others, many pythons live in the water channels and in sewers, where they easily live eating rats and mice; also for this reason, they are tolerated by local authorities and people, provided that they are not too close to persons and houses; in this case today, they are (luckily) only captured alive and carried at a long distance from the town, in the jungle surrounding the town that was their home in the recent past.