At the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge, we’d like to congratulate you on your careful driving. Or perhaps we should cite the nimble evasiveness of our local white-tails. In either case, we haven’t had a road-killed deer carcass since the New Year, and our wolves, bobcats, fox and coyote have been heard discussing impeachment proceedings against us, while grumbling over table scraps and dog food. If you come across a road-killed deer, please contact us at 946-2428, or 855-WolfMan. We will gladly retrieve the carcass. Incidentally, we will also accept farm critters, chickens, calves, etc., as long as we know why they died.
While on the subject of deer, did you know that deer cause more human deaths in America than any other creature? No other animal comes close, except of course, other humans. According to State Farm, over 150 people died in road collisions with deer last year. The three animals you’d think would lead the fatality list, bears, cougars and wolves, barely make a splash, even though, as George Carlin used to point out, you generally only hear about them when they bite someone.
For example, half a million people see wild grizzlies in the U.S. and Canada each year, in National parks or while driving, and even if you concede that only about 10,000 saw them while hiking, fishing, hunting, etc., at any rate, up close enough to be arguably at risk, there were only 4 fatal attacks, a typical year. So if you’re fond of quoting odds, four divided by 10,000 means your chances of being attacked by a grizz are statistically close to zero. Wolves, as usual, don’t even make the list. Coyotes are more likely to threaten humans, than are wolves. No one has been killed by a wild wolf in the lower 48 in over a hundred years, while cougars, which like wolves, are in the process of reentering ranges we exterminated them from long ago, kill on average one person a year.
We are just filled with such useless trivia at the Wildlife Refuge at 977 Springfield Road in Wilmington. Come on the Wolf Walk, and learn about the courageous tale of “Bruce the Moose”. And thanks for the deer leads. Steve Hall
Adirondack Wildlife Refuge & Rehab Center, PO Box 360, 977 Springfield Road, Wilmington, NY 12997. 855-Wolf-Man. www.AdirondackWildlife.org. On FaceBook at “Adirondack Wildlife”.
Photo: Steve Hall with wolves at the refuge in August 2011. Courtesy Adirondack Wildlife Refuge.