Friday, June 24, 2011

Predatory shopping carts invade Ottawa!

 For the last few years, DAVID INGRAM, a naturalist, a past neighbour, an ex-student of mine and a graduate of Red Lake District High School, has written an intermittent blog about wild shopping carts of British Columbia. These feral omnivores, he says, have escaped from the confines of the malls that their domesticated cousin inhabit. The mall dwellers are fed several times a day by the customers that use them, but the escapees must fend for themselves and find food wherever they can. I found his stories disturbing, but felt safe since I believed the feral species was confined to the Western Cordillera.
 This belief was proven wrong as I came across this recumbent example while on my morning's walk. This was spotted in the bed of the Mighty Carp River in Glen Cairn, a suburban area of Ottawa, the Nation's Capital. While it appears to be dead, I was reluctant to approach it too closely since the species has adopted the "play dead" mode to both conserve energy and to lure to its maw unsuspecting meals. Most ominously, this example seems to have adopted a Friday the 13th strategy since its mask and hockey stick weapon lie so closely by.
While the first photograph shows house nearby, the concealment of the forest is not too far away!

How far have feral wild shopping carts spread? Are they found throughout North America? Have they spread to Europe and other continents? Let me know the extent of this plague>

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