Roaming wild animals a threat to Mid-South drivers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Roaming wild animals a threat to Mid-South drivers

Animal control officers are warning north Mississippi drivers to be on the look out for all things wild. There's a recent surge in the number of wild animals on the roads and officers say you need to be careful or you could end up with a roadkill on your conscience. It's a sight officer Ed Smiley says is becoming too familiar on Desoto county road: dead animals.

"People are hitting deer, bobcats, possum, coon a whole lot more, every type of wild animal you can think of," said Officer Ed Smiley of Desoto County Animal Control.

This deer was hit near Tom Hughes home on Byhalia road. Hughes has lived in the area for 17 years. He says in the past few years he's gotten used to finding wildlife remains near his home.

"Everyday, everyday, everyday there's a new one," said DeSoto County resident Tom Hughes.

Officer Smiley says Desoto's booming growth is the problem. New homes and shopping centers are edging out the county's wildlife. When land is cleared for a subdivision it destroys the animals natural habitat forcing them to cross roads in search of new homes. The problem is getting so bad, animal control officers are asking all motorists to be prepared for anything on the road.

"There's a good possibility a deer or something is going to jump out in front of you and that's not just the back roads. That's the expressway that's everywhere," said Smiley.

And officers say it will only get worse as Desoto continues to grow. And Desoto Animal Control warns that things could get worse on the roads now that its deer mating season. The animals tend to get more emboldened and active when they are looking to mate. Animal control officers are urging drivers to slow down and pay closer attention to the roads, especially at night.

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