|The wild Life in Catalina is often dead|
Recently, I took my mother to beautiful Catalina. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of the famous Catalina bison and were looking forward to our Discovery Tour of Catalina’s interior and wildlife.
We had only driven a short distance when I spotted two deer. We asked our tour guide to slow down so that we could photograph the deer with her little one. “We hunt ‘em,” he said. “Gotta keep those numbers down.” “Wouldn’t it be more humane to control the population with birth control instead of shooting them,” I asked. He answered by putting his foot on the gas.
Further up the hill, we felt lucky to see about twenty bison grazing in the distance. It was an extraordinary scene we all wanted to savor. Our tour guide didn’t agree. In fact, he made his disdain quite clear, “There they are,” he said, “doing exactly what they always do—NOTHING.” And again, he sped away from the scene.
A little farther along, I spotted a bald eagle perching on a branch. We were all impressed with the majesty of America’s national bird, unique to North America. Not our guide, “It’s a good thing they’re protected,” he said, “because they wake me up in the morning. I’d like to get one!” Of course, if he did kill a bald eagle, a protected species, that would make him a criminal, not just a bad tour guide.
Passing the reservoir, our guide bragged of his killing “two-hundred bass in one day here!” We wondered if that was even legal. We also wondered who could eat two-hundred fish in one day. We don’t know people who eat two hundred fish in a year.
Halfway through the tour, our guide dropped us at the airport, where we were encouraged to shop for knick-knacks in the lounge and enjoy the views from the airport’s perch atop the island. And there, in the lounge, we finally got to spend a leisurely half hour with a bison—dead on a wall, over the fireplace--a cruel and gruesome trophy. Stuffed wild “life” — not what we came to see.
|Catalina's unfortunate wildlife. Decapitated and stuffed.|
What we discovered on our Discovery Tour was a shockingly oblivious attitude towards animals. It’s a shame that the “voice of Catalina” on our tour, our guide, showed such little respect for the living splendor of Catalina. Somebody needs to educate him before he talks to any more visitors. I’m not calling for him to be fired because, unlike him, I have empathy for other living creatures.
I’ll be back because I love Catalina…especially its animals.