No need for three-dog fright

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Habitat -

THERE IS NO NEED for peo­ple to fear be­ing at­tacked by the three dogs which have been maul­ing tur­tles along the South Coast.

This is the view of An­i­mal Con­trol Of­fi­cer Peter Bel­grave, who was speak­ing as his depart­ment, the An­i­mal Con­trol Cen­tre, promised to launch ef­forts to trap the three dogs this week.

But Bel­grave said he did not get the im­pres­sion the dogs would at­tack peo­ple, a fear that had been ex­pressed by di­rec­tor of pub­lic aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion at the Bar­ba­dos Sea Tur­tle Project, Carla Daniel.

“Only if they were backed into a cor­ner,” Bel­grave told Heather-lynn’s Habi­tat, when asked if he thought the dogs were a dan­ger to peo­ple.

“As with all preda­tory an­i­mals, if you back them in a cor­ner, you never know what they would do, but gen­er­ally speak­ing they are not trust­ing of hu­mans. They are more look­ing for food and the mere fact, from what was in­di­cated, that they are just bit­ing the tur­tles, and not ac­tu­ally eat­ing the tur­tle flesh, would be an in­di­ca­tion that it might, un­for­tu­nately, just be a game for them,” he said.

The dogs at­tacked seven tur­tles be­tween July and the end of Septem­ber, killing two of them. The other five made it back into the wa­ter af­ter the dogs were chased off by Sea Tur­tle Project vol­un­teers or peo­ple on the beach.

The pack ap­pears to be based in Harts Gap, Christ Church, said Bel­grave, but was rang­ing from Hil­ton Beach to the KFC area of the Richard Haynes Board­walk in Hast­ings.

Bel­grave said the An­i­mal Con­trol Cen­tre also found two more dogs which seemed to be fre­quent­ing the board­walk.

The prob­lem, he added, was that the dogs were be­ing fed by peo­ple.

“Again what we find is that tourists, more or less, once they see dogs around, they would ac­tu­ally feed the dogs.

“That is one of the chal­lenges we face, in that some peo­ple do not un­der­stand that once you start to feed a dog, it would en­cour­age that dog to come to that par­tic­u­lar en­vi­ron­ment. Then that can cre­ate prob­lems for busi­nesses, for pa­trons and for per­sons who are just us­ing the board­walk.”

Blood Pres­sure Units in mmhg Pre-hy­per­ten­sion/stage 1...................120/80 to 139/89 Mild Hy­per­ten­sion/stage 2.................140/90 to 159/99 Mod­er­ate Hy­per­ten­sion/stage 3.........160/100 to 179/109 Se­vere Hy­per­ten­sion/stage 4..............>180/110

Jo Gam­blin and Si­mone Espinet of the Ark An­i­mal Wel­fare So­ci­ety in­ter­act­ing with a pa­tron at the An­i­mal Con­trol Cen­tre’s fi­nal out­reach pro­gramme for An­i­mal Week at Carter’s Gen­eral Store in Wildey last Satur­day. (Picture by Heather-lynn Evan­son.)

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