Road ecology blog: Dead mule deer, stuck between fence and wing wall underpass

December 12, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) got stuck between wildlife fence and the wing wall associated with a wildlife underpass and dies, Montana, USA.

Note: you may find the images below disturbing. I primarily make and post images like these so that we can improve the design and construction of mitigation measures. I make images of roadkilled animals for similar reasons.

It appears that this mule deer was in the fenced road corridor and tried to get back to the safe side of the fence by walking in between the wing wall of a wildlife underpass and the wildlife fence. The wing wall and fence should be tightly aligned with no space between. However, here the wing wall and fence have a funnel like configuration. It appears that this made the deer think it could potentially pass in between the wall and the fence, but the last fence post is close enough to the wing wall to be a barrier. When the deer realized it could not go forward any further it seems that it tried to turn itself around. In the process the deer got stuck in the fence and also in between the wing wall and fence. The deer eventually died.

It is important that the last couple of fence posts and the fence that is attached to the posts are positioned such that no space is left between the wing wall and the fence for the entire length the wing wall and fence run parallel to each other. It is not sufficient to have the last post tightly connected to the wing wall as a funnel like configuration of the wing wall and the fence can be a death trap.

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Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) got stuck between wildlife fence and the wing wall associated with a wildlife underpass and dies, Montana, USAMule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) got stuck between wildlife fence and the wing wall associated with a wildlife underpass and dies, Montana, USAMule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) got stuck between wildlife fence and the wing wall associated with a wildlife underpass and dies, Montana, USA. It appears that the mule deer was in the fenced road corridor and tried to get back to the safe side of the fence by walking in between the wing wall of a wildlife underpass and the wildlife fence. The tragic series of events appears to be the result of the space between the wing wall and the fence. Normally the fence should be snug up to the wing wall. Here the last fence post was close enough to the wing wall but the second to last post allowed for a funnel like configuration making the deer believe it could potentially pass in between the wall and the fence. When it realized it could not go forward anymore it tried to turn ittself around and then got stuck and died. It is important that both the post and the fence are positioned such that no space is left between the wing wall and the fence.

 

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) got stuck between wildlife fence and the wing wall associated with a wildlife underpass and dies, Montana, USAMule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) got stuck between wildlife fence and the wing wall associated with a wildlife underpass and dies, Montana, USAMule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) got stuck between wildlife fence and the wing wall associated with a wildlife underpass and dies, Montana, USA. It appears that the mule deer was in the fenced road corridor and tried to get back to the safe side of the fence by walking in between the wing wall of a wildlife underpass and the wildlife fence. The tragic series of events appears to be the result of the space between the wing wall and the fence. Normally the fence should be snug up to the wing wall. Here the last fence post was close enough to the wing wall but the second to last post allowed for a funnel like configuration making the deer believe it could potentially pass in between the wall and the fence. When it realized it could not go forward anymore it tried to turn ittself around and then got stuck and died. It is important that both the post and the fence are positioned such that no space is left between the wing wall and the fence.

 

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) got stuck between wildlife fence and the wing wall associated with a wildlife underpass and dies, Montana, USAMule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) got stuck between wildlife fence and the wing wall associated with a wildlife underpass and dies, Montana, USAMule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) got stuck between wildlife fence and the wing wall associated with a wildlife underpass and dies, Montana, USA. It appears that the mule deer was in the fenced road corridor and tried to get back to the safe side of the fence by walking in between the wing wall of a wildlife underpass and the wildlife fence. The tragic series of events appears to be the result of the space between the wing wall and the fence. Normally the fence should be snug up to the wing wall. Here the last fence post was close enough to the wing wall but the second to last post allowed for a funnel like configuration making the deer believe it could potentially pass in between the wall and the fence. When it realized it could not go forward anymore it tried to turn ittself around and then got stuck and died. It is important that both the post and the fence are positioned such that no space is left between the wing wall and the fence.


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