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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Wildlife Adapts to Urban Living
Don't expect these to last long ...
If you've ever been out driving late at night or early in the predawn hours, you have no doubt come across a variety of wildlife that is now making cities and their surrounding suburbs home. I've seen skunks and raccoons team up to raid trash cans. In Morgantown, West Virginia, a couple years back, my parent's cat went running frantically up and down along the front wall of the house, peering anxiously through the windows into the night. They found out the next day that a black bear was strolling up their street. Over in Germany, wild boars are making as much of a nuisance of themselves in urban areas, destroying park land and household gardens in search of tasty insects. However, did you know that deer frequent city cemeteries? Yes, it's true. When laying a loved one to rest in October, the representative of the cemetery where she would be interred told us that the flowers that were placed upon the grave would be left for three days or until the deer ate them, whichever came first. A family member reports that upon his return trip to the grave site the next day, the deer had already done their clean up job. It turns out roses are their very favorite flowers (let that be a warning to all you rose growers out there). So, while humans, elephants, and ants may be the only species with burial grounds for their dearly departed, deer are regular visitors to human burial grounds. That's an interesting adaptation to urban life. Oh, and by the way, the scads of silk flowers all around the cemetery in urns don't fool the deer for even a moment.