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A few spots around the world where you don’t have to worry about a deer coming through your windshield.

I GREW UP IN Littleton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver that was forcefully inserted into miles of open prairie land back in the late ’80s. This is where the sprawling eastern plains meet the Hogbacks, the very beginnings of the Rocky Mountains. 25 years later, we still have more open space than most areas of suburban Denver, but the buildup of a major highway and a network of suburbs has disconnected the deer, coyotes, bears, and mountain lions from their natural thoroughfare between the plains and the mountains.

Before the buildup, baby deer would run down the street in the morning if you could wake up early enough to catch them, and coyotes howled every night. Nowadays such sightings are rare, and the vast majority of these animals either won’t risk the highway, or get hit by cars in the process. The first elk I’ve seen in years made his way into the neighborhood this summer to snack on our neighbor’s unmowed lawn, and he looked mightily confused about how he managed the maneuver.

Here are 6 ingenious wildlife crossings that help make the journey as natural as possible for the four-legged travelers of the world.

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About The Author

Emily Hanssen Arent

Emily Hanssen Arent is a writer and traveler who has found a home in Boulder, Copenhagen, and Jerusalem. She is currently a graduate student of Middle Eastern Studies in Tel Aviv, Israel, where she writes, studies, and struggles daily with Hebrew and Arabic. You can follow her @emilyharent.

  • U.S. National Park Service Office of International Affairs

    Great way to highlight ‘smart green infrastructure’ in and near protected areas.

  • Candice Walsh

    “Crab crossing.” Amazeballs.

  • Steven Davis

    Looks nice and all but they were going to put one up in my area. Our council looked up the stats and made them public for the vote and there is no real life saved without a huge overpass or fences. They are very area specific like the crab one or the Washington one on the curve. We actually looked closely at the ones used in Montana due to the area’s similarity and it had no effect on average road kills due to the fences being used to corral can only be so long and inability to persuade the animals to not take shortcuts over the road.

    • thunderanderotica

      Assuming the only metric for the performance of the infrastructure is vehicle collisions with animals, your point may be valid (I’m taking the data on faith.) That’s not the only measure of course, so your comment falls short.

    • Quasia Jones

      What other metric would there be for example?

  • Adriana GR

    Great idea! Just have to make sure the animals find the bridge!

  • Ewelina Koscinska

    Amazing idea!

  • Sarah ‘Henry’ Laurie

    Unfortunately, they don’t work out as well as it seems. Predators learn that animals use these crossings, and will sit in hiding on either side. Prey animal populations either bottom out, or they learn the crossings are unsafe and stop using them.

    • Suzy Barry

      arent the watering holes of africa the same? there are many places that preditors use besides that all the time. i’m sure it will be the spot of a few preditors (they tend to be territorial), but not enough to make much of a diffrence.

  • Lynn Roberts

    I’d be happy to see my tax $ go to something like this. Beautification, animal and human safety, jobs, what’s not to like. Less war, more overpasses!

    • Henry Montalto

      Let me tell yah I would love to walk across something like this everyday rather than a big ugly concrete eye sore!

    • Henry Montalto

      Let me tell yah I would love to walk across something like this everyday rather than a big ugly concrete eye sore!

  • Barbara Halliwell

    In picture #5, there is a line above the words “animals bridge”, what language is that and what does it mean?

  • Kevin Bilant

    The one in Montana is not in “one of Montana’s national parks.” it is on the Flathead Indian reservation north of Missoula crossing US Highway 93. Approximately 120 miles away from Glacier National Park. Get your facts right.

  • Eleanor Lad

    Innovative wildlife bridges over roads

  • Henry Montalto

    Sarah they do work out. It helps people from crashing and migrations from getting messed up. If we had maybe two or three possibly more it would help a great deal. One won’t cut it. This story is about a movement an innovation in wild life protection. Its a damn good start!

  • Tara Gellman

    Oh, my goodness! At first, I thought the crab crossing was a crossing for some very large, terrifying spiders! HA! Must stop watching horror movies. These are all quite wonderful. Thank you so much for bringing these to our attention! It’s lovely to see, and to know that so many creature’s lives will be saved by these!

    • Catalin Nastasa

      Same here :)

  • Scott Wishart

    Very cool

  • Beth Partin

    The Animal’s Bridge is on the Flathead Indian Reservation.

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