Yesterday, the Associated Press offered a strange little article about a supposed wildlife crisis on the campaign of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. It seems that last year, around this time, in a wooded part of campus, a few people were attacked by female deer who were protecting their fawns. The article, attempting to sound dramatic, described one woman knocked down and kicked by a deer who received a cut, a few bruises, and a hoofprint on her hand.
Does a hoofprint count as a wound, or is it just a smudge? Does it require medical treatment?
The Associated Press reported that university officials are “urging” students to “keep their eyes peeled for deer” and to run away “if a wild-eyed deer starts bounding their way”.
After I read this, I closed my eyes and visualized a campus full of students keeping their eyes peeled for deer.
I wonder how well the university administration’s advice would work. How, for example, can students identify that any particular deer’s eyes are wild while it is still far away for them to escape the deer “bounding” toward them? Also, if I were a student, I’d like some more clear guidance on if it’s okay not to run away from a wild-eyed deer so long as it refrains from bounding.
This is a serious matter. How can we hope to keep the Homeland secure from terrorist deer if we don’t know what to watch for. Eternal vigilance in forest and field is the only solution!