Many humans tend to forget that we share this planet with wildlife. To some, wildlife exists in a faraway land, when in reality it exists right outside our very own back door. All over America there are natural wildlife habitats coexisting with us. We drive by them everyday, especially on the highway. As our cities expand, known as urban sprawl, more and more animal habitats are diminishing. They are being forced from their homes, being separated from others of the same species, and being cut off from natural resources.
When animals are cut off from natural resources, it’s natural for them to seek out these resources. A lot of animals however, don’t realize how dangerous it is to cross a highway. I ascertain it is our responsibility as humans, to protect these animals as much as we can since we caused this problem for them.
This past Summer, I took one of my roadtrips to visit my family since they live 5 hours away. Being on the road is frequent to me, and I’ve seen a lot of dead animals on the road. I’ve never personally hit an animal (knock on wood), but this past summer I had a near animal death experience. It was a snail. It was just a snail, as some would say, however this snail is part of our earth’s community. Luckily I was the only car on the road and I was able to miss it, but if I wasn’t, or if I didn’t see this huge snail, I would have hit it. This would contribute to Culture Change’s statistics that “everyday in the U.S., 190 million motor vehicles hit the road, and one million animals get hit by motor vehicles.” These numbers are horrifying, and what’s more horrifying is the publics lack of awareness of this problem.
An amazing solution to this problem that have been taking over Canada and Switzerland, with the first being constructed as early as the 1950s, according to WilderUtopia, is Wildlife Crossings. This ingenious idea creates a safer way for animals to travel, just as we humans have a safe way to travel from city to city. They help so many different types of animals, from bears, wolves, and deers, to amphibians and fish. They’re particularly helpful for those animals becoming extinct, and those who need to cross the road to reach resources. Bridges, over passes, and underpasses are just some of the ways for these animals to cross. It’s a fantastic way to keep earth’s balance and harmony among the species as humans take over more and more land.