Town Crier: The dark side to spring

MONTCLARION: April 27, 2012

There’s a dark side to spring. Yes, it’s a time for growth and rejuvenation. But it’s also a time for death.

A sweet, spotted fawn died the other night — most likely orphaned after losing his mother.

Lila Travis with Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue did everything she could. When she got the call from reader Sandra Pohutsky, she rushed over to Clarewood Drive between Village Market and St. Theresa’s School.

“She said that she often gets calls for help on that exact section,” says Pohutsky, who says it’s a deer crossing area but also a street where motorists speed.

The fawn was just standing by the road shaking — his sad, brown eyes staring ahead. Then he weakly climbed up the hill.

“Lila started making chirping noises and climbed up the damp embankment, went through a small hole in the fence, saw the tiny fawn and followed it until it became too exhausted to move,” says Pohutsky. “I heard a little cry as Lila grabbed the tiny fawn and brought it back to her car in her arms …”

She stayed up most of the night with the fawn on a heating pad. His little hoofs were still soft, which means he was only a few days old — and starving because he was probably only fed once before his mother died. Ultimately, he was too weak to live.

Pohutsky hopes this story will remind drivers to slow down for wildlife. It’s all around us — it’s why many of us live here. And if you do need an animal rescue, contactthe Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue in Oakland at or Montclair Veterinary Hospital at

Making a difference: Reader Sally Leveille caught my attention by asking, “How many college students talk until the wee hours about how to make a difference?” She says longtime Montclarion Michael Freund had such a conversation 21 years ago with friends from UC Santa Cruz. They burned the midnight oil and formed “Friends Foundation International, a nonprofit with no overhead that funds everything from drinking fountains in India to a tree nursery in Panama. Check them out at

Email bag: Reader Tod Vedock weighs in on last week’s column about safety in the hills. He says Oaklanders can only do so much to protect themselves and their property. The bottom line is we need more police, he says. On a recent late-night ride-along with police, there were several reports of gunshots. “OPD was pulling officers from different parts of the city to cover each other.” That left Montclair uncovered — not fair, considering how much we pay in taxes.

More mail: So here’s an idea being floated by a reader who will only give her first name — Penny. She suggests putting our taxes in escrow to pay for private security in Montclair. “If enough people could be found to “pop” for the attorney fees and get it before a judge, I think we could get somewhere,” she writes. Any lawyers out there who want to respond?


One thought on “Town Crier: The dark side to spring

  1. Hi Ginny,
    I always enjoy your column. This weeks piece about the fawn touched a nerve, and as I sit in my kitchen this morning watching the speeding cars on Clarewood, I thought I would let you know about another factor that affects the wildlife. Adjacent to Clarewood is the property of Mountain View Cemetary where many people walk their dogs. Unfortunately, some walk with the dogs off leash and they bark and chase the deer which then come running onto Clarewood. If you have the opportunity, could you ask the dog walkers to respect the wildlife and keep their dogs on a leash?

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