You are on the highway, in a hurry. A side glance tells you that your plans could be suddenly impeded by something unexpected–the emergency lane's rotting armadillo.
Is it selfish to stop? Is it the Christian thing to leave the carcass for the next driver? You might feel a bit fairer in your claim to the carcass now that there's an app for it. That is, if your hunger strikes while you’re at the wheel in the middle of Wyoming.
According to the Associated Press, the Suffrage State launched a smartphone app that allows drivers to bid on dinners at the end of the line. The app was developed by state wildlife and highway officials. It is the first such app in the United States.
There's more to the menu than just armadillo, it's true. Wyoming's new Roadkill feature in the State Department of Transportation app allows people to quickly claim an accidentally killed deer or moose after documenting the animal.
The program's prohibitions should prevent accidents. Motorists cannot shovel bodies into their cars at night, in construction zones, or on freeways. Road-kill hunters are also prohibited from visiting national parks. Wyoming's roadkill meat is not allowed to be donated to charities, unlike Alaska’s.
You must retrieve the entire carcass, not just the hide or antlers. Oregon allows roadkill claims online. However, the Oregon Wildlife Department requires that people surrender their head and antlers within five days. Wyoming, however, allows the entire animal to be sold as fair game.
The program will not only clean up your roads but also flavorfully fill your favorite souffle. It will also improve protection for quadrupeds. App users can geotag roadkill using their smartphones and record the species. This data will help Wyoming wildlife and highway officials decide where to place wildlife crossing signs.
A reduction would be a win-win situation. Officials estimate that at least 6,000 animals are killed on Wyoming's roadsides per year. Mule deer are the most persistently pounded. They are named after their mule-like ears. They live in the western half of North America. They are generally larger than whitetail deer across the continent.
Wyoming is home to approximately 400,000 mule deer. That's roughly two mule deer per three Wyoming residents. They are not uncommon and are still hunted. However, Wyoming's drought and declining habitat have contributed to a decrease in the number of Wyoming mule deer of almost 30 percent over the last 30 years. Sara DiRienzo of the Game and Fish Department said that mule deer are already struggling due to a variety of factors, and roadkill collisions aren't helping.
Coyotes and eagles are also common critters that fail to look out for cars.
If you are looking for an armadillo, there is help in an app. To claim roadkill, you don't need to know who was responsible.
You might want to take a look at Jaden Bales's roadkill experience. He recently “rescued” a victim for venison. Bales sent in a sample of the animal's lymph node to be tested for chronic waste disease. This neurological disease has been spreading throughout U.S. deer populations over the decades. It was negative.
Marta Casey accidentally killed a deer, and she reported it to the app. She shared her find with friend Jordan. Casey was new to hunting and had only eaten wild game once before. However, she liked the idea of at the very least using the animal that helped put her car in the shop. Marta stated, “It has always been important for me to understand where my food comes from.”
You can now do the same.
The app can be used to make mincemeat from any non-human mammal–if you happen to be in Wyoming. Tonight, you can grill some delicious food after removing the animals from your car.