One wise quotation that has stuck with me over many years is something to the effect of, “The best index of an individual, community or society is how it treats those who have no voice.”
And this seems applicable to the situation Oak Harbor faces with the river otters at the city marina. It is true, the otters are messy animals that leave poop on the docks. It is also true that they are highly intelligent and social animals that many take delight in observing, photographing and showing to their kids and grandkids.
I read the newspaper articles and the comment section in the online version at whidbeynewstimes.com. From that, it sounds like plans are in the works to remove the otters from the marina. The articles and comments indicate the otters will be not just killed, but cruelly trapped and drowned. I find this horrifying. I find it hard to believe there is not a better solution.
If the city finds itself unable to afford paying someone for this job, is there not somewhere in Oak Harbor one or more volunteers who can hose off those docks? I would be glad to do it myself if I didn’t spend so much time volunteering at our local animal shelters, another place that deals with inconvenient animals.
Come on, Oak Harbor, do the right thing. Leave the otters alone. Don’t be known as a community that fosters cruelty.