Give Wildlife a Brake Day!

By: Carla Gridley

It’s an age old question. Why did the chicken cross the road? And while, there are a myriad of answers that could be true, the bigger question is “How has that chicken managed to cross the road so many times without getting hit?” Give Wildlife a Brake Day is about the perils of animals crossing the road!

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Every day in the US, over a million unfortunate animals die from getting hit by motor vehicles. The poor creatures just don’t understand. Roads aren’t a part of any natural habitat. If you’ve ever wondered why squirrels randomly dart in front of cars, it’s not that they have a death wish. They’ve evolved an erratic style of running when they’re afraid and use it to confuse predators. Unfortunately, this instinct often leads them right into the road. It’s a great strategy for escaping a hawk, but not so much for avoiding a two-ton minivan. 

Slow animals—such as turtles—face an especially perilous journey across the road. Turtles are compelled to cross roads during “turtle season” as they make long journeys to mate and build nests. Experts actually recommend that you help them across the road yourself, if you are able! 

Humans are great at adapting to a rapidly changing world. Animals, unfortunately, tend to rely on instincts, of which there are none for crossing the street. That’s why it’s our responsibility to drive carefully.

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