Going wild. We don't see it as a good thing. And why would we? For most of our time on earth, humanity has been running from lions and other wilderness dangers. We've worked hard to make our local landscapes as safe and convenient as possible. Sometimes that's meant paving over areas that might burst into weeds. Other times, we've dammed rivers for electricity or irrigation. But now pollution, climate change and disruptions to the water cycle are affecting the world in ways we never anticipated. What if the new key to making our lives safer (and even healthier) is to allow the wilderness back into our cities?
When we think of wild animals, we don't immediately associate them with the cities we live in. But a closer look soon reveals that we share our urban environment with a great many untamed creatures. Heavily illustrated and full of entertaining and informative facts, City Critters examines how and why so many wild animals choose to live in places that, on first glance at least, seem contrary to their needs. How do those deer, raccoons, squirrels, skunks, coyotes, crows, gulls and geese-not to mention the alligators, eagles, otters and snakes-manage to survive in the big city? What special skills do city critters have that many of their wilderness cousins lack? Why have they developed these skills? And what are our responsibilities in ensuring that these animals can continue to share our city lives?
Joe and his friend Skip are enjoying the thrill of the Big Dip, a famous rollercoaster, until they learn the old man in front of them has been shot. The old man mutters with his dying breath something about getting a Margaret Rose to the police. Joe leaves the crime scene to get on with his life. But someone is desperate for the Margaret Rose and thinks Joe has it. When his sister is kidnapped, Joe is in a race against time to solve the puzzle.
Fourteen-year-old Maya sneaks out in her kayak before breakfast every day to check on a family of sea otters living in nearby Riley Bay. It's hard being an animal lover in a fishing family. The animals Maya loves threaten her family's livelihood, and Maya doesn't know if she can trust her family not to hurt them. She is determined to protect the sea otters, even if it means checking on them for the rest of her life. One morning, Maya discovers she's being watched. Who is it and what are they doing? Soon Maya has to trust someone as she gets caught in a dangerous race to save the sea otters--and her family's livelihood--from poachers.