There has been a spate of tragic deaths lately on the Sunshine Coast. These deaths have left orphans bereft and at risk of dying slowly of starvation or predation. Even more tragic is the fact that almost all of these losses were preventable.
Over the last few weeks, local observers have been horrified to witness the brutal deaths of deer, fawns and a mother bear who had cubs.
As members of the dominant species that continually pushes or attracts wild creatures to change their habits and occasionally conflict with us, I feel each one of us who lives here should do our best to protect wildlife.
There are two ways we can reduce the risk.
The first is the most obvious: slow down while driving. Everywhere.
Nature is all around us. Even if you have a heavy workday, try to leave extra time to get to where you need to go, and keep your speed down. Watch shady areas along the road, especially in early morning and later at dusk. Hitting an animal with your vehicle can be deadly for the animal and dangerous to you and any passengers you’re carrying.
The second is just as simple, but you may have to remind yourself: tell your guests.
The Coast attracts visitors not only in summertime but all year round. When you know someone is coming here with a vehicle, remind them that wildlife is everywhere and this is not the big city. There’s no competition.
Let your visitors know they need to allow a bit of extra time to get to the ferry, because animals may move onto the road when – and where – you least expect them to.
Lower-speed driving makes life safer and more peaceful. Let’s try to keep both people and wildlife alive and injury free.
Deborah Greaves, Gibsons