Humans Versus Animals
By: Wes Wallace
Cape Girardeau, MO -- Oh Dear! A doe attacks three people near the campus of Southern Illinois University. A possible big cat spotting in Stoddard County Missouri. Plus a dozen other reports of bear sightings around the country, including one in Madison County Missouri.
There's always some deer in Gene Rhodes' yard. A group of three stand guard near the entrance to his driveway near the edge of city limits. While he prefers the real to artificial, Rhodes points out the live variety don't come without a problem. "They're pretty animals to have around, but they're still a nuisance. They ate 31 roses in two nights here off the bush in our front yard."
Rhodes put up an electric fence to keep the deer away, but he seems to think they're a breed now invading our territory, rather than humans taking away their space.
It's no surprise to see signs of deer near Heartland neighborhoods. "Our yards are usually well kept, with all the lush, green vegetation, they really like that, so they'll come out of the woods bordering a yard, without caring it's the middle of a subdivision," explains A.J. Hendershott with the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Besides deer, Hendershott says you don't have to look too hard finding other wildlife knocking at your back door. "They're making a strong comeback. Back in the 1930's, it was just unheard of to see animals like deer, turkey, and the like roaming the streets. They're definitely making a comeback."
So what happens if you're out and about and stumble across a wild animal? Hendershott points out some species are more likely to attack without being provoked. "The best idea, is to use common sense, don't try to touch them, pick them up, or get too close, if you do that you can get in all kinds of trouble."