Give Wildlife a 'Break'
Being alert and driving more carefully can help protect both animals and people
Animals often pay the price for our ever growing highways and roadways. Millions of wild and domestic animals die on our roads every year. Whether you are driving to work, on vacation, running errands, or enjoying a scenic autumn drive, take a few moments to consider the effect you may have on wildlife. By being alert to animals and by driving more carefully, we can help minimize the needless deaths of many innocent creatures.
Scan the road ahead for animals that may dart into your path. Dawn, dusk and the first few hours of darkness are prime times when many species of wildlife are the most active. Roadsides are often bordered with shrubbery that might contain nesting wildlife. Also,many young animals have not yet learned to be afraid of people or cars and don’t move quickly out of the way. Don’t Litter Remains of food and scraps lure animals to the roadside. Never throw any food, food wrappers or food containers along roads.
High speeds pose a risk to animals as well as humans,so please slow down for everyone’s sake.
If an Animal is Hit
If you can safely move the animal out of the roadway, do so. This helps prevent scavengers on the road and eliminates a traffic hazard. If you attempt to move an injured animal, do not handle the animal directly. It may scratch or bite out of fear and pain. Use heavy gloves or a towel and try to place the animal in a box or other suitable carrier. Take the animal to a shelter or wildlife rehabilitator. If you must keep the animal for a short time or overnight, keep it in a warm, quiet place to minimize stress and possible further injury.
Who to Call
Call a local animal control professional or police department if you injure or kill a larger animal such as a deer or one that can inflict a serious bite, such as a raccoon. To locate a licensed rehabber in your area, log on to www.michigan.gov/dnr. For other wildlife questions, please contact the Michigan Humane Society Wildlife Department, located at the MHS Rochester Hills shelter, at 866-648-6263.
Giving wildlife a 'brake' not only saves their lives, it could also save yours. Enjoy the season and drive with wildlife in mind!