iN PHOTOS: Thousands of animals using B.C. wildlife crossings | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN PHOTOS: Thousands of animals using B.C. wildlife crossings

Two mule deer crosses Highway 97C using the wildlife overpass.
Image Credit: Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
September 10, 2020 - 11:44 AM

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is reporting thousands of animals are using wildlife crossings near Kelowna.

The ministry's Wildlife Monitoring Program tallies and photographs animals using wildlife crossings across the province.

Recently, the program announced the 11 wildlife crossing locations along the Okanagan Connector (Highway 97C) between Aspen Grove and Kelowna, saw mule deer using them 3,700 times between January to October of 2019, according to a ministry media release.

A ministry video shows that mule deer become more active after the snow melts.

“Watching those numbers climb really impresses me,” says Dr. Leonard Sielecki, manager of our wildlife program, in the province’s announcement.

A mule deer using an underpass along the Okanagan Connector.
A mule deer using an underpass along the Okanagan Connector.
Image Credit: Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

“And this is only showing mule deer – not other types of deer, or other species of wildlife. It means the potential for 3,700 collisions with vehicles was eliminated. These mule deer were not hurt, killed or orphaned – they crossed the highway safely thanks to the crossings made for them.”

A coyote using a B.C. wildlife crossing.
A coyote using a B.C. wildlife crossing.
Image Credit: Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

He said this is only the beginning for the wildlife program. Most likely moose will be counted next.

A badger using a B.C. wildlife underpass.
A badger using a B.C. wildlife underpass.
Image Credit: Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Moose using a B.C. wildlife underpass.
Moose using a B.C. wildlife underpass.
Image Credit: Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

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