Turns Out Those Animal Crossings Are Working [VIDEO]
Our Wyoming highways have become very busy, especially around tourist season. That can be hard enough for individual animals trying to cross a busy highway. It is far worse during migration seasons.
It's not just the number of animals killed, but the number of people killed and the damage to property, such are automobiles, trucks and RVs.
When the idea of animal crossings, both over and under the highway, was first proposed it seemed a little strange to some folks. It also seemed a bit expensive. But the idea of the amount of money saved in property damage, emergency services sent tot he scene, and lives saved, out weighed all skepticism.
After a few years of animal bridges being in place here in Wyoming, how have it worked. Has it been worth the cost?
Each year more than than 13,000 mule deer migrate safely through Nugget Canyon near Kemmerer using six underpasses and fencing, according to a media release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The mule deer have figured it out. Like many other animals they quickly learn that the easiest and safest way it through, over, or under what humans have built for them.
Just a few years before about 130 mule deer each died each year. That is the number of deer, what about damage to vehicles and lives injured or lost on the human side?
That is an 85 percent improvement.
The department of transportation built six more underpasses and two overpasses in 2012 near Pinedale with results that are close to the same for the mule deer and many other animals in the area.
Estimates show that about 30,000 big game animals use crossings across Wyoming. Those animals are teaching their offspring to do the same.