Porcupines are innocent victims

Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2002

It saddens and angers me every time I see a porcupine that's been hit by a car on the North Douglas Highway. It saddens me because the porcupines are such innocent victims. It angers me because I see so many people driving on North Douglas faster than the speed limit, in such a hurry to get home or to the bridge just a few minutes sooner, and thus more likely to not see a porcupine or be able to stop in time before hitting one. Or maybe these people don't even care, and that makes me even more sad and angry.

Recently, on my way home out North Douglas, at about 9 p.m., I noticed a live porcupine eating vegetation on the left-hand shoulder of the road. I turned around, pulled over, and stopped not far away, and then noticed not one porcupine but two, a mother and a young one. I lightly beeped the horn a couple of times, getting them to scurry off the shoulder and into the bushes, where I hoped they would be safe. I hoped they were not on their way down to the water's edge and that they would continue on their way upslope of the highway.

Sadly, on my way into town the next morning, in the very same area, both porcupines had been hit. Tears came to my eyes. I had done what I could to save them but to no avail. In the last few weeks I've noticed three other porcupines that have been hit. I hope all who are reading this and who drive North Douglas will drive more SLOWLY, especially at night, and especially when it is rainy and at night. And I hope people will care enough to try and watch out for the porcupines (and any other wildlife).

Barbara Kelly

Juneau



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