Claire Voltarel, Campus Carrier Staff Writer
|Jameson Filston | CAMPUS CARRIER|
|This fawn on Viking Trail is just one of the many deer at Berry. Although deer are the most common of Berry’s wildlife, the campus holds many different species.|
Berry’s campus is home to a variety of mammals, reptiles and birds that may surprise students.
Besides the abundance of deer, other mammals like squirrels, skunks, raccoons, opossums, coyotes and even bobcats make their home at Berry, according to senior Leslie Bowen, president of the Society of Outdoor Life and Exploration (SOLE).
“I have seen evidence of black bears up on Mountain Campus,” Bowen said. “But [students] are not likely to come across those on main trails.”
These mammals have the potential to be infected with rabies, which Bowen claims is the primary concern for students when interacting with these animals.
Members of the Berry community are generally informed to not touch the deer on campus because it can lead to abandonment from their families. Making contact with a deer could also result in a large fine because Berry College is a protected area for the deer.
Berry is also home to five species of venomous snakes: cottonmouths (or water moccasins), copperheads, pygmy rattlesnakes, timber rattlesnakes and Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes. According to Bowen, students should be aware of what each snake looks like in order to avoid them if seen. There are several non-venomous snakes on campus that are of no concern.
Hunting is a common sport on Berry’s 27,000 acres, and particular times of the year are dedicated to hunting different species. November through January are reserved for deer hunting, while small game season can last from August through February. Turkey hunting takes place between March and May. Each season has particular start and end dates. During these hunts, all other outdoor activities in the designated area are prohibited.
Whether for sport or by happenstance, people on Berry’s campus are likely to encounter wildlife. In general, Bowen says, all animals behave very differently, so students should be aware of the different animals on campus and give them the comfortable space they need.