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Have you ever seen any wild animals within the city limits?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on June 8, 2005

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Photo of Adam Hathaway

“Racoons dig in my trash all the time, but that’s about it. I haven’t ever seen the legendary campus cougar.”

Photo of Carol Spiker

“A red fox in Parnell Park across the street from where I live.”

Photo of Suzy Johnson

“No. Not aside from just squirrels and rabbits.”

Photo of Nate Oborny

“I think I have a beaver living in my back yard. It might be a giant groundhog or something, but either way, it’s a huge rodent.”

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Jeff Goodrick 12 years, 10 months ago

The last time I saw one of the mountain lions was about 2 months ago in north lawrence at Kaw Motors Junk yard, medium size black tip on the tail.

enochville 12 years, 10 months ago

I've seen squirrels, rabbits, and deer.

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 10 months ago

I saw at least 3 guys with large Grizzly Adams beards walking around yesterday!

jonas 12 years, 10 months ago

Ubermime: Mwahahahahaha. Even now that you know, you will never catch me!

acg 12 years, 10 months ago

What was with that yesterday, in front of 6th st. McD's? I drove by, there were very skinny, scantily clad hairy guys out front hollering about closing the McD's. Are they closing that particular fat factory or just remodeling? Anyone know?

acg 12 years, 10 months ago

Okay forget I asked. I actually read the story. What a novel concept, eh? I'm having one of those big bag of duh days.

Fangorn 12 years, 10 months ago

RE: the McDonald's protestors Some people have way too much time on their hands. And where does one obtain a BigMac costume anyway?.......oh, never mind.

I've seen coyotes twice. Once in the hay field along Kasold south of 15th (excuse me, Bob Billings Parkway), the other coming out of the copse of trees that used to stand where Kohl's now is. I see opposums frequently. And of course the startling variety of wildlife one sees along Mass Street on any given day is quite entertaining.

And after nearly a decade in Lawrence, I still think it's weird to see seagulls here. I mean, there hasn't been an actual sea here for several million years!

lovely1 12 years, 10 months ago

possums in the backyard, deer in the park, mosquitos that make bites that are the size of quarters, thanks to my neighbor's 2 tetra ponds that he doesn't take care of.. and the city says that you could dig a hole in your backyard, decorate it and leave it for good, dont take care of it, just watch it turn green, have eggs on top, whatever.... city of lawrence apparently doesnt care. all they can do is advise us on how to stay safe. wear bug spray they said. i bet the guy who works at the city wouldn't put up w/ that if it was in his neighbor's backyard and he had kids.

kansas 12 years, 10 months ago

Original Bob, I agree with your squirrel post! Although, I'd like to add that they also raid by birdfeeders constantly!--And I hate that! To me, squirrels are such a nuisance!!

kansas 12 years, 10 months ago

"my" birdfeeders!

I have all kinds of birds in my yard....robins, cardinals, grackles, even a psychotic blue jay (long story) and many other birds too! And they all wind up getting chased away from the birdfeeders by them pesky and annoying tree rats!! I hate that!

Mari Aubuchon 12 years, 10 months ago

I've seen fox and coyotes in more than one location, in addition to the usual townlife. Of course, I've also seen many red-tailed hawks and a few eagles.

Fangorn: The seagulls have been here since I moved here in the mid 80s, although there definately seem to be more of them these days. I found out that Gulls are found along major rivers and large lakes far from the ocean. They even live in the prairie provinces.

ms_canada 12 years, 10 months ago

Even in a city as large as mine (1 mil.) there are numerous wild critters. We have a large river that meanders and dissects our city. I live on the bank high (220 ft) above the river and we see many wild ones. Fox, cougar, deer, coyote and rabbits. Although I am not so sure the rabbits can still be classified as wild. My husband has been feeding them (5 of them) all winter. They got into the bird seed that fell from the feeders on our patio, so he just set up a feeder in the back yard for the rabbits. I loved to look out the back window at night and watch them. They are so funny when they fight. They don't actually touch each other, just threaten. I am not a ghoul to watch a fight. So, it seemed to me that they have become domesticated and are no longer wild. What think you? Also, there is one jay that comes to the feeder and if it is empty, he sits in the tree and screams until we come out with more food. My cat is scared silly of them as they scream at her too. My husband has a chickadee that will eat out of his hand and there is a squirrel that will take pecans from me. I love having these critters around. They are part of life.

raven 12 years, 10 months ago

offtotheright: Please be careful putting your cat outside to chase off squirrels. I used to allow my cat outside, when she wanted to go and a squirrel ended up bitting her tail off. They are viscious, so watch out for your cat.

acg 12 years, 10 months ago

We have squirrels galore. I have 24 trees in my yard and 21 of them grow some sort of nut. So there are squirrels everywhere and it drives my dog crazy. So I let the dog and cat out to chase the squirrels and it's highly amusing. We get a lot of critters where I live. Coyotes, bobcats, deer, racoons, foxes (is foxes plural for fox? I forget) Also because I live on a lake, and had someone told me this beforehand I may have changed my mind on the house, we get these wolf spiders that can grow to be the size of your hand. And they're not at all afraid. I had one chase me out of my basement last week. I'm all for nature and stuff, but that was crazy!

Shelby 12 years, 10 months ago

I've also seen a fox in the middle of town....weird.

wichita_reader 12 years, 10 months ago

Urinating in your own yard-could there possibly be anything more liberating for the male of the species? I've been "watering the grass" for years. It was easier growing up at my folks place in the country, but more discretion is required now, living in the city. My wife hates it, too. But now I have the justification of scaring away those pesky squirrels.

Fangorn 12 years, 10 months ago

Psychotic bluejays. Cat-mutilating squirriels. Posh bobcats. Internet squirrel hunting. Exotic urine.

And occasional posters wonder why regular posters like me feel compelled to come here everyday!

Mari: The first summer I lived here, I was leaving Wal-Mart. Some idiot had discarded his uneaten french fries in the parking lot. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a bird land, rather awkwardly, and hop toward the fries. Having lived in California and being familiar with the birds, I thought "Wow! that bird sure acts like a seagull." When I turned around to look, I did a double-take at the black-winged gull enjoying the litterbug's lunch. It's still bizarre to me to hear them screech as they circle (probably looking for more fires).

sunflower_sue 12 years, 10 months ago

lovely 1, sneak over at night (or just throw if you have a good arm) and put one of those mosquito dunk baits into your neighbors pond. They really do work very well and last for about a month. (That is, considering your neighbor is a jerk and wouldn't willingly allow you to control the 'skeeters.)

I have a big goldfish pond and the fish control the larve for me but in another container w/out fish, I but the bait. My dog even drinks out of the container and it has not made him sick. I've tried to keep him out but he has a taste for pond scum, I guess.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 10 months ago

wild animals...I live outside of the city... "in the country" which is quickly becomming the "burbs". We have every mean varmit you can think of. Especially lots of mountain lions (hungry ones) and huge rattlesnakes and copperheads that are just ill tempered. Trust me, ya'll don't wanna move out here. Stay in the city!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's very scary out here. Plus, someone will shoot out your big 'ol secruity light that you felt it necessary to put in, and then you'll be in the dark. Just the way it was intended to be at night! Then the skunks will come and burrow under your front porch. You'll love the country then! Did I mention the plagues of mice? Field rats, too. Nothin' like waking up to the sound of your wall being eaten by hungry,germ infested rodents. Can you say "Hanta Virus?" We have ticks, too. "Lyme's disease." And you were afraid of "West Nile"? Don't move to the country! Bad idea!

tir 12 years, 10 months ago

Rabbits, squirrels, possums, groundhogs, lonesome doves, squawking black crows, starlings that intentionally poop on my laundry and car, the occasional hawk with a smaller bird clutched in its talons, feral cats, feral neighbors howling at the moon even when there isn't one...

neopolss 12 years, 10 months ago

I typically keep a stock of ninjas on hand for dealing with squirrel invasions. They're quite cheap when you purchase them by the truckload. The problem is collecting them all when they get loose. Ninjas are quite sneaky.

Fangorn 12 years, 10 months ago

TOB: "5. makes the sky blue" And all these years I've bought that bogus garbage my physics teacher fed me about short wavelengths of light and atmospheric refraction! We need to contact the NAS and get this fallacy corrected.

neopolss: If you can't catch all the ninjas, would they qualify as an invasive species?

jonas 12 years, 10 months ago

Consumer1: Man, if you can see all that stuff you listed when you look up in the sky, I want some of the stuff you're taking.

Look, a levitating, err. . . land whale!

Ceallach 12 years, 10 months ago

A fox family lives in the shrubs around Robinson Gym.

At home I see the usual birds, rabbits and squirrels. Appears mine will be the minority report -- I get along fine with squirrels. I have two bird feeders in the front yard, one with a squirrel shield and a seed mix heavy on safflower seed (squirrels do not like safflower seed). In the second feeder I have food heavy on sunflower seeds and I attach ears of field corn (dried, cheap at Wal-Mart). That seems to work for me.

Hmmm. Perhaps my squirrels have spent too much time in my neighbor's yard -- exposing the squirrels to other elements. I have long suspected the neighbors just sit on their couch and smoke pot while watching movies or playing video games. If that makes the squirrels kinder and gentler then I am in favor of legalizing mj for squirrels ;)

My neighborhood also has opossums, racoons and once I looked out my kitchen window and a beautiful young doe was crossing my backyard. I went to the front door and she was already in my neighbors front yard and several people were out looking up the street. This was very strange since I live between Naismith and Ousdahl. She had safely crossed 23rd and hopefully found her way out of town as I never heard or read about an accident involving a deer that day. My chainlink fence didn't even slow her down.

Ceallach 12 years, 10 months ago

fangorn: in Lawrence neopolss' missing ninjas would never be considered an invasive species. They would be encouraged to apply for the many benefits of being homeless in Lawrence or even find accommodations at one of our full service halfway houses. Did you forget where you are?

sunflower_sue 12 years, 10 months ago

Takin' my 'ol man and my youngin's to the big city to supper. I'm thinkin' I'll trap me some yonder varmits in one of those there "live traps" and let 'em go at the first new de-velopment I come 'cross. That'll teach 'em good! YeeeeeHawwww!

hirtski 12 years, 10 months ago

A few weeks before the end of the semester I happened upon a mother red fox with her kits (4 of them) on campus in that field just below the Dole Institute. The mother was laying down under the street lamps on the sidewalks and the kits were running all over. I was walking on that sidewalk along Sunnyside and they were coming up to my feet and sitting next to them and smelling my shoes. It was neat cause as long as I didn't bother them the mama didn't care.

Grundoon Luna 12 years, 10 months ago

I saw a deer weaving in and out of traffic at 4th and Maine. Poor thing. She would get in the intersection and run circles, then jump the fence at Childrens Learning Center in the old-hospital-going-to-be-a-parking-garage-now. You could hear all those kids holler!!!! Then she jumped back out. She repeated the process about 4 times before running west down 4th street. Across the street at Prairie Park you see a lot of animals. I saw three deer there one evening last week. WAY COOL! I've lived in several country-fied places here in town and have enjoed watching the animals. Even the Rastafarian (sp) who stayed at the next door neighbors for a while. He was a trip! He would go on about watching the animals in the back yard. specially the black cat with the white stripes down it's back! WHOA, DUDE!!! That's a polecat!! I don't mind the squirrels. I put food out for them and even name them. I had a hella manx cat that caught one and it kept the rest in check - the animals I have now do the name - though it was disturbing when he caught rabbits. That blood chilling scream they have!! I saw a fox by that frat where you swing around from LA street to get on Sunnyside Ave. I was amazed to see that in town! The Daycare director said, "Oh, yeah. There's a whole family that lives by the computer center." I've heard that a bunch live near the Haskell campus, too. We've got too many bugs here though. Those bird need to work on them better and stay the hell out of the dog's food.

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