COMMENT - Collisions That Kill Wild Animals
I drive the Inland Island Highway every morning & evening, as I am commuting between Buckley Bay and Parksville.
Yesterday driving home (northwards), I barely missed hitting a deer crossing from the side. (S)he was headed for the grassy meridian strip. Unfortunately, the deer was so spooked that (s)he just kept running full tilt into the oncoming traffic heading south. I witnessed the deer being hit, and I assure you, for someone who loves animals, it was not a pleasant sight. I think I will carry that image all my life of the deer being hit and then literally flying through the air. I pulled over and the vehicle that had hit the deer pulled over. The driver was able to pull the deer off to the side of the road, and he stood there for a very long time (feeling compassion and shock I have no doubt). There was nothing I could do – I couldn’t very well run across four lanes of traffic, and there are no places to turn around on that highway.
Interestingly, this morning what did I see but a (hopefully) dead deer on the highway – a fresh kill as the deer was completely intact. Within a few hours hundreds of cars will just drive over the body. It appeared that its neck had been broken.
The Department of Highways have planted the median strip and beside the shoulders with indigenous grasses – very thoughtful and very beautiful at this time of year. The grass is young, very green from all the rain, and not gone to seed yet. Unfortunately, however, this grass is extremely attractive to the hungry growing deer.
I hope you can convey to your readers that even if they have no feelings whatsoever about deer that it could be dangerous for them, their passengers, their vehicle and other drivers around them if they hit a deer. This time of year along the Inland Island Highway is a bad time for deer attempting to cross the highway.
Deer being hit
This is kind of off topic, but it made a very lasting impression on me, and I want to champion what this guy did, whoever he is.
I live near the ocean, and highway 101 is between the beach and my property. For whatever reason, deer come through my yard and cross the road heading for the water. Suffice to say, I’ve seen my share of dead deer, and let me tell you, it never gets any easier. And when it’s the Bambi’s getting run down, it can be especially unnerving.
A couple years ago, I was just getting into my truck, when I heard squealing tires and that horrific thump that you hear when someone hits wildlife.
I walked down to the end of the drive, and there is a very young deer, thrashing about in the ditch, just terrified and in pain, but with injuries which prevented it from even dragging itself anywhere.
I was just mortified, but called the RCMP, which took the better part of 5 minutes. I was just ending the call, when I realized there was a guy walking back down the road to where the fawn was. I remember thinking, how did that guy fit in THAT car, when I saw he had pulled over a ways away. This guy was big.
He said not a word, but walked right down to where the baby deer was. He got down on his knees, then sat cross legged and held the Bambi’s head in his arms....and he just stroked its head. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but he was talking to it.
The fawn stopped struggling, and he just held it, talking to it, rubbing its head and neck.
Soon the police arrived and as soon as the officer made the guy move the little deer began panicking again. The officer put it out of its misery.
By then the guy was halfway back to his car, but I remember he had a lot of blood on him, and mud, when he got up.
It all happened so fast, I didn’t get his name or even communicate with him. I regret that to this day.
I bet, that guy is a great person to others as well. Maybe he is just an animal person, I have no idea. At one point I wondered if he was even human, but whatever, it was something I think about more often than I care to admit.
And...if by chance, that guy reads this, I want to say, “you, sir, are one helluva fine human being”. If you ever get the chance stop by, because I’d like to shake your hand. I live in the yellow house, with all the stonework in front....the deer was in the ditch in front of my house.
I am glad I got that off my chest.