News Stories

Wild Animals in Your Backyard

There are WILD animals lurking in hidden places in manicured suburbs. This year, Princeton, New Jersey hired sharpshooters to cull 250 deer from the town's herd of 550 at a cost of almost $60,000.

Columbia, South Carolina is spending $1 million to get rid of beavers and their dams in their drainage systems. After a small dog had to be put down after being mauled by a coyote in Wheaton, Illinois, a wildlife exterminator killed four coyotes and got death threats on his voicemail for doing so.

Expanding wildlife populations are the result our conservation and environmental success, such as restocking wildlife, but they bring negative things as well. For instance, deer bring lyme disease, and YOU may be one of more than 4,000 drivers who will hit a deer today.

In the November 3-4 edition of the Wall Street Journal, Jim Sterba writes: "In 1907, 50 Michigan white-tailed deer were shipped to Pennsylvania. Eleven years later, foresters and truck farmers there were complaining about 'too many deer'--a phrase uttered to this day. In many places, however, seeing a deer (or a goose) in the 1950s and '60s was still so rare it made the local newspaper. Between 1901 and 1907, 34 beavers from Canada were released in the Adirondacks. With no predators and no trapping, they grew to 15,000 by 1915." Today herds of wild deer are eating the flowers out of our gardens and beavers are chewing down our decorative trees and stopping up our waterways.

Some people think we should back natural predators, but do we really want wolves and cougars roaming our suburbs as well?

Why don't these critters stay where they're put? Because our suburban habitat is better than their wild one: we have plenty of food, water (swimming pools?) and shelter. We plant delicious grass, trees, shrubs and gardens for them to dine on. We put out birdseed, mulch and garbage, in bags and cans, that bears, raccoons and possums find it easy to get into.

Maybe the solution is to encourage hunting, something that has fallen into disfavor in recent decades (which has probably added to the problem). Sterba quotes environmentalist Brian Donahue as saying, "Maybe I'm dreaming, but hunters are the new suburban heroes."

There can be OTHER strange things in your backyard as well, and Anne Strieber has interviewed 23 "experiencers" about their very own strange encounters--in an incredibly valuable repository of information that you won't find anywhere else--and if you're a subscriber, you can listen to ALL of them!



I have a friend who was late for the airport because a deer was giving birth in his driveway!
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