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WATCH: Animals Use Wildlife Overpass for More Than Just Crossing

A compilation video from WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation) and Conservation NW shows a host of animals using a series of wildlife overpasses. The overpasses cross Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass in Washington State. Elk, martens, coyotes, moose, and what appears to be a cougar pass through, proving how effective wildlife overpasses can be.

Wildlife in the area once roamed from Oregon to Canada. However, I-90, which bisects Washington State from west to east, cuts off animals’ natural pathways. Thankfully, wildlife crossings now allow the area’s original inhabitants to pass over and/or under the highway unharmed.

Edited by Lauren Frohne of The Seattle Times, the video is a mashup of clips from wildlife cams showing different species using the overpass for various purposes. Some come to graze, some to play, some to spar with a partner, and some to just pass through.

Watch what the cameras catch below. What surprised you most?

(Courtesy of WSDOT and Conservation NW, edited by Lauren Frohne / The Seattle Times)

25,716 Safe Wildlife Crossings and Counting

The Seattle Times reports that by the end of last year, WSDOT had recorded the 25,716th safe wildlife crossing in the project zone. This included “13,525 by deer, 7,967 by elk, 3,216 by coyote and a handful by rarer species like moose, cougar, American marten, fisher and American pika.”

If all those animals had tried to cross I-90 instead of crossing above or below it, some of them wouldn’t have made it.

While some animals still do cross the road the old-fashioned way, the number of collisions between vehicles and wildlife is greatly reduced when animals have an alternative way to get where they want to go.

The I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East project is ongoing. By 2031, The Seattle Times says the 15-mile, $1 billion project will feature an additional 16 crossings.

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