I was heading through the wild area on Monday (Thanksgiving Day). I could hear a strange sound, not an animal noise but a squeaking; like a chew toy. As I approached the sound increased in intensity and there were small mounds of earth along the dirt path in the wild area.
As I drew closer the answer was revealed. A treasure hunter, wife and chihuahua in tow, was looking for valuables left behind by Hurricane Hazel victims. Not wishing to be confrontational, I adopted a friendly approach and asked the man if he was aware of the history of the site. His apprehension dissolved and he soon became keen to tell me all about his hobby. ‘Oh yes, there’s lots of good stuff buried. Last time I was here, I found a silver jewel case’. All the while, with his wife nodding approval, the man continued, using a smaller squeaky probe and shovel to ferret out anything metallic. Instead of removing this debris, he tossed it aside, not even adding a gram of benefit from his odious activity.
It’s hard to know how to defend historic sites against such predators. The provenance of items found is probably lost without a trace once they have been removed and sold.
Another worrying development recently has been a group of people who act as if the park is their own personal off-leash zone. They seem to be led by a lady who drives to the park and releases her three very active dogs (without collars) into the wild area. The dogs are constantly being yelled commands so she’s an obvious presence. She meets up with a couple of local residents and their five dogs are set loose to harass whatever wildlife they come across.
These people give responsible dog owners a bad name.
It saddens me to think of the wildlife that struggles to survive in an urban environment. Now they have to deal with this added burden. It’s inconsiderate and unfair. After all, there are lots of off leash parks in Toronto. Once people see this open flouting of park rules, others will surely follow.
These two sets of people are like leeches because they take from the park and add nothing. The park is diminished by their presence. Their selfish behaviour presents a massive middle finger to those who appreciate the history and the wildlife of Raymore Park.