Skiing squirrel is animal exploitation

When I read the Friday article on Twiggy the celebrity water-skiing squirrel, I didn’t find it funny. I found it to be a sad story of animal exploitation.

The original Twiggy was an orphaned squirrel taken in by a woman who is supposedly a “licensed animal rescuer.” But instead of rehabilitating and returning this animal to the life he was born to lead in the wild, the family turned the squirrel into a money-making joke, and has since subjected several other squirrels to the same fate. A truly professional and compassionate licensed wildlife rehabilitator would not use injured and orphaned animals for personal wealth and fame, but understands that rehabilitation is about preserving and honoring the wildness of creatures entrusted to their care.

Just as vexing, The Herald encouraged people to pursue an illegal activity with the “Five easy steps to train your own squirrel to water ski,” included in the article. In Washington state, it is illegal for individuals to capture and posses a wild animal (WAC 232-12-064). The newspaper’s attempt to be funny was in poor taste.

Wildlife educators have enough challenges instilling young people with a respect for wildlife, and inspiring them to take action to protect our environment. They have to wade through the endless sensational messages of greed and indifference to reach them. This side show act teaches that it’s OK to do what you want with nature as long as it’s fun and makes a profit.

Mary Leake Schilder

Public Affairs Manager

Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

Lynnwood

More in Opinion

Editorial: Yet another owner for The Everett Clinic

After its brief time with DaVita, uncertainty returns for the clinic with its sale to an insurer.

Editorial cartoons for Sunday, Dec. 10

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Viewpoints: Trump’s monumental mistake

The power to abolish or shrink monuments rests with Congress, not the president.

Commentary: How to begin to bridge the divide on immigration

Right and left need to step back from inaccuracies and entrenched positions to find agreement.

Commentary: Action needed now to make 2020 census count

The Census Bureau is lacking leadership and funding necessary to prepare for it.

Parker: Contrasts in how parties dealt with Franken, Moore

The Democrats sacrificed their bad actor; the Republicans are fully backing theirs.

Editorial cartoons for Saturday, Dec. 9

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Robinson: Trump’s mutation of the Party of Lincoln is complete

If Roy Moore’s alleged grooming of teenagers can be ignored, then so too can Mueller’s investigation.

Petri: Questions to help clarify what is and isn’t a monument

If a bunch of white dudes are standing around it with torches, then it’s a cherished monument.

Most Read