Last Tuesday afternoon, around 3 p.m., my daughter and I witnessed a tragic scene on the beautiful Crescent Beach.
A group of 9- to 10-year-old kids were playing on the beach, chasing seagulls.
First water guns were used, then it progressed to what I assumed was just dirt. When I realized they were throwing rocks at the birds, I got up to talk to the six or seven parents who were watching the whole scene laughing.
It was then that we realized a bird had fallen to the ground and could not get away.
We made our way to the bird while, finally, one of the mothers got up as well.
A group of teenagers also joined the group.
One of the boys, extremely upset, berated the mother in no uncertain terms, not holding back his just anger. His friend joined in, questioning the parents’ parenting skills – rightly so.
The mother responded that the incident was “sad” and “unfortunate,” and she would deal with it – prompting us all to ask her “how?”
I asked her what she was going to do with the bird – it had a broken wing.
She said she had no idea what to do.
I said she’d better contact someone quickly, SCPA or a vet, as this bird was suffering. This was her and the other parents’ responsibility.
I told the kids to look at the bird and realize what they had done and that this was not fun.
Throughout this scene the other parents left their friend to fend for herself. Not one of them came to back her up or to see how the bird was doing.
In the end, only two mothers tried to put the bird in a container, hopefully to take it to a vet or the SPCA. The others packed up and left the beach.
Hopefully, the kids learned a valuable life lesson that day – not from their parents, sadly, but from one courageous 15-year-old with a big heart.
M. Messchaert, Vancouver