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First, I am not what one would call a hippy or one of those died hard animal rights people who throw red paint on anyone wearing fur or leather; I don't wear fur or leather and I am not really a fan of it for anyone else, but they are the ones who have to live with it, not me.  I do eat chicken but if it wasn't my favorite food I would probably be a vegetarian (I rarely eat other types of meat) and it actually isn't usual for me to go several days without eating meat just due to my lack of interest in most foods and what is available in the home.  But I am an animal lover (so long as they are not insects, cannot stand most insects, but that is because in my family I was the one that always got stung/bitten and I have the bites and swollen limb photos to prove it) and believe that so long as the animal isn't attacking someone, it should be allowed to live.  Unfortunately my landlord does not agree with this ideal and makes me hope all the more that by some miracle we will be able to move into our own home next year (fingers crossed).

We live right next to a park; a very large park on the side of an almost mountain (just a few feet short), that is protected space, no one can build or hunt on it.  My landlord used to run a ranch here for horses, used to be the operative word, I have only seen one horse since we moved here and it was just for one afternoon, all of the horses are kept on another property well away from here.  But because it used to be a ranch, it is still considered an agricultural property so they are allowed to shoot any animal deemed a pest from some list.

Our small home is in-between our landlords home and the park; and the back fence of our home is about five to ten feet away from park land.  We get regular visitors in the night from the park and it is one of the things I love about where we live.  I have seen gray foxes, raccoons, skunks, a hawk (wasn't happy about that because it ate one of the birds), a possum, and while the deer have not actually gotten into the yard, we have seen them outside the fence munching on the greenery that grows over the edge of it.

My landlord and his wife are very anti-squirrel because she has five fruit trees that produce way more fruit than she can actually eat and they told us because it is an agricultural property they are allowed to shoot them.  I actually rarely see the squirrels in their yard, most of them spend their days eating whatever the birds drop from the bird-feeders we have hanging from the house.  We think they are cute and if we had a fruit tree garden like our landlords do we would happily let them eat as much as they want.  Anyway, the landlord has a trap in his fruit tree garden that has never had an animal in it.  So they put one next to the fence of our yard that is much closer to the park and this afternoon they found one of the baby skunks that recently visited our backyard in it (which means it has probably been in the trap for well over 12 hours because they usually come around 11 pm and it was 3 pm when the landlord found it).
So the landlord let me know that they trapped it and that they were going to be shooting it.  The only thing I can say about this is that I am pretty sure he got sprayed by the skunk before they actually shot it.  I really wish they hadn't shot it and had given it to a recuse group because I know they exist.  The skunk never did anything to hurt anyone and I doubt it ever got into their fruit garden because of the mesh fence they have the whole way around it.  So, I am kind of bummed, the skunk was cute and while I am sure it was not the only one coming into the yard, I will miss it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Some people just don't see animal lives as being important, and I think that is sad. =( Poor baby skunk.
I know, even though I don't like insects I know they are important (we have a strict rule in our home, I can only kill them if Kevin isn't home and they have to be inside the house, if Kevin is home he catches them and then releases them back outside, he is a way better person than I am) and when we are outside and some are around, I just try to get away from them.

Skunks are actually very useful as they eat insects and help keep the population under control and they are one of the few animals that actually eat bees! I wonder if people like my landlord realize that killing the "pests" actually encourages the insect population to get out of control.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunk
I didn't know that skunks ate insects including bees, that is really interesting.
One of the things I have started doing since we see all of these great animals, is trying to learn about them during the random moments of being able to read (or I get Kevin to read about them and then tell me). It makes it all the more enjoyable to watch them and try to spot the behaviors that they are known for. With the birds we also use the info to make sure we are getting the right type of seeds so that they are getting what they need since so many of them seem to live in our backyard now.

Both Kevin and I like learning about the all the animals we see and are often surprised by just how useful and interesting they all are.
I think that is really neat. :)
that's too extreme. there have got to be other methods of keeping the animals away from the fruit.
There is actually a wild-animal hospital near here that helps with rehoming trapped animals. We are planning to contact them to see if they can give us info we can pass on to our landlord about getting anything else they may trapped rehomed instead of killed.
That's a brilliant idea about contacting the animal hospital for information about re-homing. It's such an awkward situation for you to be in, what with them being your landlords.

Sorry this is such a late comment - I'm catching up on all your posts - hope you and Kevin managed to resolve something.