Wild Animal Commentary

We’ve noted a number of times, such as here, the return of wild animals to abandoned farmlands and suburban towns. Where I live, hawks, eagles, wild turkeys, foxes, coyotes and, of course, deer, have become pretty commonplace.
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Hawks are an interesting case: when I was young, I hardly ever recall seeing them. Now, in my suburb, you can’t drive to the grocery store without seeing hawks circling in the sky and perching on light poles. Not far away, mountain lions have been spotted. In my native South Dakota, the phenomenon is even more pronounced, as many square miles of farm land have been abandoned and are rapidly returning to the wild.

Tonight, Glenn Reynolds picks up the theme:

My sister lives on Knoxville’s eastern fringe, almost in Sevier County. She says that just in the past year the number of coyotes, wild turkeys, and deer has exploded. People are also reporting bears.

That seems to be a trend.

As Glenn notes, the Wall Street Journal writes that “such people-shy critters as bears, coyotes, moose, elk, cougars and turkeys — are multiplying, spreading and learning to live near people.”

Over Memorial Day weekend, Deacon was in town with most of his family. One morning, we were standing in my garage when I thought I saw a dog trotting along through my next door neighbor’s yard. After a moment I realized it was a coyote. I’ve heard about coyotes in our neighborhood–some people have stopped letting their dogs and cats out during the day–but this was the first time I’d actually seen one.

From my perspective, it’s all good. But, obviously, one needs to exercise a certain amount of common sense when dealing with bears and mountain lions.

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