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Weston Asks Drivers to Beware of Wildlife

WESTON, Conn. – With darkness setting in earlier, Weston residents should drive more carefully in wooded areas, Animal Control Officer Mark Harper says. And not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because deer are on a mission to eat and mate, and both lessen their natural fear of cars.

“This time of year they will dart right out in front of you,” he said. He added that the wet weather has also depleted Weston’s acorns, a main staple in the deer diet, so now they are in search of food.

“We really want to caution people to slow down and to beware. These deer get so caught up in what they are doing that they don’t pay attention to the dangers of what is on the roadway,” he said.

“I know a lot of people think that if they pass one deer on the street they are safe, but in reality they usually travel in pairs, so where there is one, there is usually another right there with him,” Harper said.

And it’s not just deer. Westonites need to be on the lookout for bobcats and coyotes, too. “I have seen coyotes in the woods and there is an increase in the bobcat numbers. I have seen a lot more bobcats in the area,” Harper said.

While there seems to be an influx of wildlife in Weston, Harper says, it’s nothing to be concerned about. “These animals very rarely come into contact with humans. It’s extremely rare. I just want people to continue to be cautious and to watch small dogs and cats.” He said.

Though coyotes and bobcats tend to steer clear of people, Harper says, residents need to be alert when hiking in wooded areas. “If anyone were to see one, they need to make themselves bigger, yell at it and put up their arms but just stay calm. These animals might stare at you, but they will easily run away.”

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