Many wildlife species have been traveling on the same routes for thousands of years–as is determined by the shape of the land and the distance between food, water, and shelter sources. They did not evolve for hollow rocks that whiz across the land at 65 mph and come equipped with eyes that glow so bright at night that you can’t look away. This is why you see so many of them dead along our highways. Our roads dissect and fragment their routes, their food and water sources, their homeland. Our cars kill them–and sometimes we are injured or die as a result of the collision, as well. As our population continues to grow at an unbelievable pace, more of their habitat (homeland) is cut up into smaller and smaller chunks. We sprawl, they diminish. It doesn’t have to go like this. As the most intelligent animal that the Earth has known–and the apparent manager of all other Earthly beings-we can give them more dignity and compassion by building wildlife overpasses and underpasses, protecting and restoring their habitat, inviting some of them to coexist with us in our towns, yards, parks, and just by being curious about their lives, their roles in nature, and their individual “personalities.” (Yes, tell me your pet does not have its own personality, wild animals may as well. If “personalities” is too much for you, substitute it with “way of being.”) If observed carefully, you may notice that individual animals have characteristics that make them a little different than their litter mates, flock, etc. They are not organic bags of blood, fur, feather, and claws without conscious. Watch them, and let me know if you notice something. You can start helping wildlife right now by going outside and watching them (we care more about what we understand), look for their signs (tracks, poop, nests, feeding habits), by planting plants that are native to your region, and by joining groups like the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). NWF is working to help us coexist with wildlife. If you’re in California, check out National Wildlife Federation California RIP P23 (Puma 23) Check out full article about P23’s death here: