Thursday, July 12, 2007

Deer Insurgency Quelled


CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) -- On the edge of the dense forest that makes up much of the 20 or so acres of Southern Illinois University's Thompson Woods, the slogan spray painted on the paved trail seems simple and innocent: "Everything is gonna be alright."

After puzzling flare-ups between deer and humans at the school over the previous two years, students and staffers finally can consider the graffiti right on. The 20,000-student university had cause to be edgy until the last week or so, having seen a half dozen people - a mix of students, staff and police - get sent to hospitals after being attacked by deer here. Several other people were threatened but unharmed.

Wildlife specialists said the attacks happened during fawning season, the time from
mid-May through June when deer become keenly protective of their fawns.

But fawning season came and went this year with no dustups between humans and the hoofed, and it is anyone's guess why.

I’ll tell you why; we didn’t give against Deer Al-Qaida in Carbondale, that’s why. We stuck it out! We hung -or hanged or something- tough! We didn’t cut and run! We didn’t let the deer terrorists win!

Ah, and now it’s time to relive the heroics of the War on Deer.

Some suspect things came to a head one day in June of last year when a campus policeman got between a doe and a jogger to prevent another attack and shot the animal when it charged and slightly injured him. The animal was found and euthanized the next day, and the lack of attacks since has fanned speculation that that particular deer was a rogue one responsible for much, if not all, the problems.
That doe, let’s call her Jane Doe, was probably the Osama bin Laden of deerdom. Or at least the Osama bin Laden of deerdom’s #2.

But let’s not forget the efforts of Homeland Security.

Others submit the school's public-awareness campaign launched in the wake of the
2005 attacks has paid off, persuading folks to watch out for deer, not approach the animals and, if a wild-eyed deer starts bounding their way, run.
Er, walk quickly, not cut and run.

And here’s to a bright future…

"Or maybe deer found out that campus is not a friendly place," shrugs Rod Sievers, a spokesman for the university. "Who knows what the deer think, but maybe they got the message."

Or perhaps the calm this fawning season was just luck.

"Who knows?" Sievers says. "Maybe the problem will never raise its head again. Let's hope."
Let us hope, indeed, Mr. Sievers, and God bless America.

Update: In comments, Will quite correctly notes that we fought the deer in Carbondale so we wouldn't have to fight them here.


Anonymous said...

I feel safer in Springfield knowing that the deerorist threat was confronted in Carbondale so that they don't follow me home after my next trip there. We need to fight them there so we won't have to fight them here.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, you peacenik deernik peoplenik whatever. We can never let our guard down. The deerorist have regrouped and are believed to be seeking refuge in a place with the unlikely name of, Oregon. Oregon? Who knew.

Anonymous said...

Oops. That was supposed to be Illinois Valley, Oregon.