Niagara Gazette — “She died in my hands,” he said, shaking his head at the memory.
Beyond the wild drama, there’s the rising cost of seed and peanuts. He goes through as many as 9 pounds of peanuts each visit. And about that amount of wild bird seed.
But, he thinks its worth the cost, and he has the full support of his wife, Eleni, who loves that he feeds the wildlife.
“I feel like it’s his time to meditate,” Eleni said. “While he’s feeding the animals, I think he feels a sense of peace and tranquility when he does it and I think the animals feel it.”
“It’s a rare and beautiful thing to see nowadays,” she added. “You don’t see a lot of people doing it.”
Most Tuesdays and Saturdays, he begins his visit by walking across the border to feed the Canadian creatures, including red fox and raccoons. Then, he walks back to the American side, and continues feeding birds and squirrels for as long as his supply holds, typically about four hours or so. Like a mailman, he does the job in all kinds of weather.
Some have told him that wildlife shouldn’t have to depend upon humans to eat, but he likes that they do.
“As long as I’m living, they’re going to eat well,” he said.
When reminded he’s not going to live forever, he smiles and says he has a 22-month-old son, John Jr., who he hopes will take his place one day.
In the afterlife, he plans to do more of the same. “I’m thinking in the next world I’ll be taking care of animals there, too,” he said. “That’s my mission.”