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Thu September 26, 2013
Everything you wanted to know about roadkill
This week we answer all your burning questions about roadkill.
If you've ever wondered who deals with the roadkill that seems to be everywhere in town in the warmer months, then your name might be Nathan Byrne:
— Nathan Byrne (@nathanbyrne) July 24, 2013
Nathan asked and we answered. So here it is.
There is no one agency responsible for roadkill removal. Here in the mid-Missouri area, roadkill removal is mostly complaint-driven. That is, you'll want to call the Missouri Department of Conservation if you spot it (573-815-7900). But they won't necessarily pick up the carcass themselves. Depending on the type and where it's located, one of three different entities might be engaged.
If the roadkill is in Columbia city limits, it's purview of Animal Control. Those guys will only deal with the small stuff, since a deer carcass can push 150 lbs and not everyone can lift like that. For deer, the city has hired a contractor who gets paid on a per-deer basis. Essentially he's a guy with a truck. But he's fast and will respond to a call within 24 hours.
- State Highway
If the roadkill is on a state highway, it's the Missouri Department of Transportation's responsibility. But MoDot's focus is on safety, so if it's anything smaller than a deer, they probably won't pick it up at all.
We wondered if there was any special equipment that one might use to pick up a deer--150lbs is quite a bit of weight, especially if you're by yourself. Here's what MoDot told us:
@scottpham - No, Scott. Most of the time we pick up debris the old-fashioned way. Gloves on, deep breath and get it.
— MoDOT (@MoDOT) September 25, 2013
So there you go.
If the carcass is in on a county road, the MDC will take care of it themselves. Again, they're not really concerned about anything smaller than a deer, so those cases they will probably just ignore and let "nature's garbage" take its course.
If it seems like roadkill is a little denser here than other places, or that it sticks around for longer than you'd expect, that's probably because of this distributed system. In places like the Kansas City area, where there's a lot more roadkill and a lot more cars, there are personnel comitted solely to roadkill removal. That speeds up the process quite a bit, but in Columbia it might be hard to justify an expense like that unless the problem becomes much larger.
Listen to the whole show for even more info on roadkill. We'll even explain what a "Gator Getter" is and what in the world is going on in this video: