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updated: 7/2/2012 5:42 AM

Only park dist. can save these animals

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The Arlington Heights Park District has some dirty laundry. Countless lives of local wildlife has been lost because the park district refuses to employ common sense, or common decency toward wild animals.

There is a storm drain located directly west of Windsor Drive, just south of the entrance to Lake Arlington. This tunnel runs from one side of the street to the other, ending with a "service entrance" that is grated heavily.

The problem arises when raccoons, opossums and even families of ducks enter one side of the tunnel but are left trapped on the other. Climbing animals such as raccoons climb the rungs toward the sunlight only to become trapped when they cannot scale the ladder back down. They are always abandoned at this point, leaving the animals trapped, waiting to starve to death.

How can this be avoided? Given the fact that the "service entrance" is covered by welded steel into the surrounded concrete, it is clear that the rungs beneath are not necessary because humans have not yet learned how to pass through steel in one piece. This introduces one of the two obvious answers; remove the rungs, this way animals cannot climb them only to become trapped.

Or the easier option: Instead of leaving the cover a nearly impenetrable force, merely make it a hatch, affixed with two padlocks. This way if/when the entrance needs to be used again it can be or in this case, when wildlife is trapped public works can easily open the top to release the innocent animals.

Some may say that this is nature's way, animals die all the time, sure, but when it is due to a sheer laziness or lack of common sense it becomes reckless. Not to mention that this grated opening is mere feet from the popular path around the lake, leaving not only the animals to die, but for them to die slowly while countless park visitors, not to mention children witness. It seems as though this issue will not be perused by the park district until there is public awareness and reaction.

Dakota Washoe

Arlington Heights

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