No Reds under the Bed
Those involved in a long running campaign to save the Red Squirrel in the Borders will not share the sentiments expressed in this letter from the latest Berwickshire
- Grey squirrels are beautiful, intelligent and highly adaptable animals and yet there appears to be an intolerance – even a hatred – of them by some people.
Demands for their death come largely from just two sources: those with vested interests, and so-called conservationists who whimsically favour one animal over another. We should not forget that, not so long ago, red squirrels were accused of all the things for which the greys are now blamed. As a result, hundreds of thousands of reds were killed – driving them to near extinction.
It is not the fault of grey squirrels that they were brought to this country 130 years ago and, despite everything, have thrived. To kill en masse such a hardy species flies in the face of Darwinism – it is the killing of the fittest.
Finally and most importantly, squirrels feel pain. That they can legally be beaten to death in a sack, trapped, shot or even drowned by ‘pest’ controllers, is an indication of how unfeelingly savage our society has become.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the hidden motives behind wildlife culls can order a free copy of With Extreme Prejudice: the culling of British wildlife by calling 01732 364546 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have on several occasions waited patiently in the hide in Paxton House for a sighting of the Red Squirrel. Once, only once, after 30 minutes, I was rewarded with one making its way towards its nut container. Unfortunately I was unable to suppress a sneeze and off it went. Never to reappear. I have not seen once since.
Nor have I seen a Grey. Perhaps the Reds have wiped them out?
Never trust a Red, Senator Joe McCarthy used to say.
Labels: Borders, Squirrels