A hungry mountain lion steps out from a forest. In the distance, it sees a deer. But a highway stands between the big cat and its next meal. Cars and trucks speed by at 65 miles per hour. If the mountain lion wants to eat, it will have to risk its life to cross the busy road.
This problem is not uncommon. Across the U.S., animals cross traffic in search of food or new places to live. Also, highways and roads cut through the migration routes that many animals follow each spring and fall.
The result has been an alarming number of accidents. According to one study, nearly 2 million collisions took place between vehicles and animals from July 2019 through June 2020. To prevent accidents, some states have created wildlife corridors. These pathways are built under or over roads. They enable animals to cross safely.
The U.S. has more than 1,000 of these wildlife crossings—and more are being planned.