Small animals on the back roads

| 12/13/2012 6:20:24 PM

Last week, I blogged about the challenges of driving where
you may encounter big game. Alas, small animals also use the backroads and can
become victims as well. Squirrels and rabbits seem to be the most common
animals encountered on roads. Like deer, they often appear indecisive and can
be difficult to avoid.


Our local resident geese population can also be obstacles.
Their slow sedate march across the road sometimes causes them to become the
victims. Geese and also ducks with young will not fly and if they start across
a roadway are totally at the mercy of drivers. Most drivers will try to avoid
wildlife but even animal lovers can sometimes cause deaths simply because the
animals don’t behave as expected or other traffic make car animal collisions
unavoidable. Considering the size of a grown goose, drivers would do well to
avoid collision with them. Imagine what one would do to a windshield?


Turtles and snakes are certainly at the mercy of drivers.
Few turtles are seen on the roads in this arid area but of course they move so
slowly that they are on the road a long time once they start a journey across
it. Snakes apparently enjoy the retained heat in the roadway and will sometimes
lie on the road for warmth. Sadly, many people will run over any snake with the
justification that they thought it to be a rattler. Most dead snakes that I
have seen on the road dead are bull snakes, a harmless and useful snake that
somewhat resembles rattlesnakes. Although many motorists can’t be bothered to
identify a snake before they run over it, I see a lot of people on back roads
stop to look at dead snakes apparently to verify the species.


12/16/2012 8:01:48 PM

Minnie, all good advice. We have deer here in Nebraska that can be seen from time to time beside the road. The most dreaded thing to hit, in my humble opinion, is the waddling skunk. So far, I have not personally hit one but have smelled the accident after the unfortunate deed. I'm not sure how a smell like that would be taken off any vehicle. As uninspiring as a wild turkey looks, I have yet to see one dead on the highway even though flocks of them graze beside the roads with cars whizzing past not but a couple feet from them. Maybe they're not a dumb as we think they are. Have a great animal victim free day.

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