Deer Are Jumping to Their Death Off Pennsylvania Bypass

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Residents are begging the state’s department of transportation to put up a fence to stop the deer

Deer are jumping to their deaths from a bypass in a small Pennsylvania town, and residents want the state department of transportation to do something about it.

Residents living in the town of Johnsonburg told WJAC the sight of the dead deer at the bottom of the bypass is disturbing.

“As you can see in the background, there’s a deer that ... jumped off this bypass,” neighborhood resident Bill Boylan said. “Recently, since we lived on the other side of the bypass, we’ve had 25 deer jump to their death in a populated area.

“That end of the bypass is probably more dangerous than any other area, ’cause that’s the only place that it crosses over a populated area.”

Boylan says he and others have reached out to PennDOT, but they’ve been displeased with the department’s response.

“PennDOT apparently doesn’t see the wisdom of putting maybe a diversion fence for the deer, or maybe some nets to catch all the debris that comes off from the snowplows that plow it over,” Boylan said.

In addition to contacting PennDOT, Boylan says they’ve reached out to the game commission, which has been cooperative.

Boylan predicts the deer will continue to jump off the bypass if steps aren’t taken to prevent it.

“What happens is here, the deer could be very easily diverted, if they would put up a fence on the point of this hill. They come down off of here. They get frightened out onto the bypass,” Boylan said. “They panic, one jumps off, and they all leap off.”

Concerned resident Julie Padasak points out that many of the dead deer are female.

“All of ’em are doe and that’s, you know, potentially could have been how many more deer populating. If they wouldn't have died, they are the mothers to carry the, the baby deer,” Padasak said.

PennDOT told WJAC it just recently learned of the problem and is now examining the situation to determine if the department can do something about it.

“We started taking a look at it, trying to really determine where the deer coming from, you know, how are they ending up on that bridge is really the problem we’ve got to solve first before we can determine if there’s anything we can do or not,” Tom Zurat, PennDOT district executive, said.

Zurat said the department will try to provide an answer to the residents in the coming weeks.

“We understand where they’re coming from and we will look into it and see if there is something that we can do that ... involves the roadway that we can make it, you know, safer for the animals and obviously anybody that’s a resident in that area.”

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