Wednesday

The Penguin in Your Storm Drain



You almost don't even notice them.


You see squirrels and birds every day... maybe smelled a skunk or two.  You may have even chased a raccoon off your porch with a broom.


But have you ever had a baboon raid your home for food?

Urban wildlife.  Wild animals coming out of the wilderness and settling in where the living is easy; your hometown.  


Why?


Food.


Photo: T. Boswell
Think of it like this; why wouldn't a coyote choose to live near big cans overflowing with sweet-smelling (to a coyote) food items? No hunting or chasing involved. 


And don't forget about the coyote's occasional dietary supplements... pet cats and dogs. So easy to catch.

In many U.S cities, you can find coyotes, foxes, opossums, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels and deer. 


And no, there are no alligators in the sewers! :)

That said, urban wildlife here is kind of fun and interesting.


But not so in other countries!

















  In India, langurs make pests of themselves by stealing fruit from market vendors in broad daylight.


In Africa, penguins have become such a nuisance in towns that fences have been erected to stop their migration into the city. They tend to nest in such outrageous places as storm drains and people's gardens...and they're really noisy and messy!





In some cases, even larger animals can be found living in cities. Berlin has wild boars...





Roe deer (the kind of deer that Bambi was, believe it or not) are becoming common in areas of Glasgow, Scotland.


Then there's urban wildlife that can be dangerous.  In Cape Town, Africa, 450 baboons live and breed in the city, prompting officials to hire an outside company to manage these big guys!


And how about the leopard found in the basement of a school in Mumbai?  Leopards prowl the streets by night there... scary!





The Red foxes in England are getting cheeky, too.  One was found on top of London's tallest skyscraper, living 944 feet above the ground and surviving on scraps left by builders.  




How'd he get up there?  Experts figure he took the central stairwell, of course!


Want to get involved? Many cities have Urban Rescue and management programs that need volunteers.


How does urban wildlife affect you? To find out more, check out this field guide to urban wildlife:

3 comments:

Lois Johnson said...

Kind of creepy. Kind of cool. :)

I Spy Animals said...

Oh, definitely cool...if you aren't in Africa or India!

Jim said...

Great research, keep it up...