Animal news – from sad to odd

Our own tourist snapshot of Wawa's goose, from 2003. Photo: Craig Miller

My family’s tourist snapshot of Wawa’s goose, from 2003. Photo: C. Miller

Here are two updates and a brand new item concerning animal news (or animal statue news) out of Canada.

First, white-nose syndrome continues to plague bats on both sides of the border. As reported by the CBC:

The federal government has listed three species of bats under threat from white-nose syndrome as endangered.

The listing, announced Thursday, includes little brown bats, northern long-eared bats, and tri-coloured bats. Populations of the bats have been devastated by white-nose syndrome. The disease first appeared in New York state in 2006 and has since spread into eastern Canada.

Here’s more on that from the Canadian Government’s Species at Risk Public Registry.

The next species under discussion is not endangered. But updating an earlier post, a woman from Quebec has been sentenced to 90 days in jail  (to be served on weekends) as part of her conviction of criminal negligence causing death.

In June of 2010, Emma Czornobaj stopped her car in the fast lane while to try get duckings off the road. A 49-year-old motorcyclist and his 16-year-old daughter died after colliding with Czornobaj’s car.

The case generated considerable public interest as Czornobaj could have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison. What was the appropriate punishment for an “accident” of such severity?

As reported by the Montréal Gazette, here’s how Superior Court Justice Élaine Perreault explained the need for jail time:

“This is not a case of stopping a car on a quiet (tree-lined) road were the speed limit is 30 kilometres per hour and where there is little traffic, if any. Although she never intended to cause the death of André and Jessie Roy, the accused must take full responsibility for having, by criminal negligence, caused the deaths of those two people,” Perreault said. “Emma Czornobaj perceived the risk but recklessly undertook that risk nonetheless. She knowingly engaged in risk-taking that she should have foreseen would put other drivers’ lives in danger.”

The sentence included 3 years probation, community service and a 10-year prohibition on driving. Czornobaj’s attorney told the press he does not plan to challenge the jail sentence, but he may try reduce the driving ban.

On a far lighter note, the Northern Ontario town of Wawa is probably best known for a very large metal statue of a goose. (It’s big: 8.5-metres or 28-feet.) Alas, the statue is rusting and may need to be replaced. Which the town would have trouble paying for.

Enter a grand offer from the Ontario Sheet Metal Worker’s Union. According to this report from the CBC, the Union’s Jay Peterson says these projects are par for the course, in their line of work:

“We’ve helped repair the Big Nickel, at one point,” Peterson said.

“This type of thing is not unusual for us. We’re happy to be doing this as a partnership with Wawa.”

The big nickel is yet another iconic work of large sculpture and is how many travelers know Sudbury, Ontario.

Repairing a giant goose statue could be a pretty dull proposition. But not if the poor dear is taken on a PR tour, as is being envisioned:

Once in Toronto, Peterson said they will hoist the goose into the air and then simulate the giant goose landing on a harbourfront beach — a sight he thinks people would pay to see.

“If we lift the Wawa goose up by helicopter, and fly her, what seems to be south, that will attract a lot of attention and get a lot of discussion going about the Wawa goose and all things related, and we think we could make a lot of money.”

Wow. All for birds considered a pest when they show up by the thousands and poop all over everything.

Another view of the statue. Photo: Craig Miller

Another view of the statue. Photo: C. Miller

The Big Nickel is a proud symbol of the mining town of Sudbury. Image by Jok2000, Creative Commons.

The Big Nickel is a proud symbol of the mining town of Sudbury, Ontario. Image by Jok2000, Creative Commons.

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1 Comment on “Animal news – from sad to odd”

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  1. Pete Klein says:

    You shouldn’t stop your car in a traffic lane but neither should you run into a car stopped in a traffic lane.
    If I were to ever move to Canada, Wawa would be high on my list.
    I find humans to be more of a pest than birds.

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