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Larger Pests Choose City Life

July 10th, 2015

Larger Pests Choose City Life

Deer, raccoon, and even big cats are increasingly common in populated areas, and the trend will probably continue as city-goers remain ambivalent about how to handle large, wild mammals in their midst.

People choose to live in what are often prime animal habitats — streams and rivers, lush woodlands, and valleys at the base of mountains.  American cities are often situated in choice terrain that draws other mammals.  Since mid-century, with the decline of hunting and the rise of Disney (think Bambi and The Yearling) attitudes towards blindly hunting down big mammals have shifted considerably

Deer were the first mammal to make a comeback.  Almost extinct from forests in the northeast and mid-Atlantic, they made a rousing return in the fifties and have been going strong ever since.  Prancing through greenbelts and across golf-courses, they often show up in back yards.

Policies to avert extinction have resulted in healthy populations of many animals.  Deer, alligators, foxes, skunks and raccoons are all doing quite well.  Even coyotes, who live hard, short lives in the wild, have adapted well to urban living.

People who see the larger “charismatic” animals sometimes react with surprise.  It is difficult to understand how they can prosper away from their “wild” home.  Their appearance proves that without a clear threat from man, they live quite comfortably.

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