AR-News: (US-pa)Poison meant for rats is killing park's squirrels
info at animalconcerns.org
Sat Apr 10 11:41:07 EDT 2004
[from Philadelphia Inquirer]
Heliana Murray was walking her basset hound in Rittenhouse Square this
week when one of the few remaining squirrels there began to convulse and
"She was standing in front of me," Murray said. "I cried so much."
Since last fall, when the Philadelphia Health Department began to poison
more than 50 burrows of rats in Center City's toniest park, neighbors have
been complaining that the squirrel population was suffering the same fate.
It was necessary medicine, from the point of view of public health, said
Jeffrey Moran, a spokesman for the Health Department, who acknowledged
that at least a dozen squirrels have died.
Murray said that after she dried her tears, she contacted People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the organization helped her set up a
petition drive. Murray gathered more than 300 signatures asking Mayor
Street to allow them to help set up a nonpoisonous approach to attacking
the rodent problem. PETA delivered the petition and a letter on Thursday.
The mayor had no comment.
Stephanie Boyles, a biologist at PETA's headquarters in Norfolk, Va., said
that people need to make sure they leave no trash or food in the park and
that the city should use rodent-proof metal trash cans. Then, she said,
the poison would not be necessary.
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