USDA Educates Kids on Coexisting with Wildlife

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    At the Stock Show on January 12, 2014, a wildlife biologist, Kendra Cross,  from the Wildlife Damage Management office at the USDA took some time to talk about herself and her job. She lives in Denver, but is from the East Coast. The stand that she operates ( with a taxidermied bear, cougar, fox, and badger and animal skins and fur that you could touch) doesn’t travel-it is stationed in Lakewood and is devoted to educating kids about coexisting with wildlife.

She also helps to make sure people don’t get into conflict with animals, and helping to fix the conflict if one happens to happen. Some animals that they have to deal with are bears, cougars, foxes, porcupines, wolves, and beavers. There are two ways that they deal with troublesome animals-they either try to chase it away or, if the animal is causing a serious problem, put it down.

Some problems with beavers that they may have to deal with, for instance, are that, according to the pamphlet on beavers, “Beaver dams can cause flooding of crops and roads,” and that “Beavers can spread disease , for example, like giardia in drinking water,”. Also, some of the cougar problems that have to be dealt with are, as the Living with Wildlife-Cougars brochure states, “Cougars will kill livestock,”, “Cougars will kill pets,”, and that “Cougars have attacked and killed humans,”.

All in all, Kendra had a lot to share about her job, and the stand was helpful as well-it teaches you how to live with many different animals.