the sleeping aardvark

So. I drive by a high school here in San Francisco that has aardvarks wandering its sports fields.Giant_Anteater_by_A_Whittaker

And while it is always a little disconcerting to see aardvarks strolling around the fields of the local high school suddenly seeing one of them on their side snoozing is … well .. you slow down and look a little closer. Why? A snoozing aardvark looks an awful like road kill. But in the middle of a field instead of the middle of the road.

Let me start over. I guess I figured this being California instead of using safe chemicals to solve pest and ant problems on the soccer and football and baseball fields at a local high school they have rented/bought/leased (???) a squad of aardvarks (anteaters) to cleanse the fields.



The high school mascot is not an aardvark (that is actually UC Irvine). They are the Red Tailed Hawks. Anyway. The aardvarks. They randomly wander (well, actually, I have never seen them move … we will get back to that) the fields in their ambling pachydermish way like little tanks in search of ants. It makes it a little interest during baseball practice (I would imagine the cruel kids treat the aardvarks like the ball sweeping cart at the golfing range) and the outfielders learn to navigate the obstacles while tracking down fly balls.

So. After seeing the sleeping aardvark I went online to see what the deal was exactly (I mean how do you decide to actually bring aardvarks in?).

To my dismay I found out that the aardvarks I had been spotting as I drove by the high school were actually fake coyotes.

Huh? Did I feel stupid or what?

Coyote Fake(but, hey … compare the pictures and tell me from a distance you wouldn’t have been confused!).

So the reason this whole thing happened (the fake coyotes) was the geese tended to outnumber the athletes on Mill Valley’s Tamalpais High School athletic fields so the school officials came up with the novel idea to bring in fake coyotes.

Apparently the coyote lookalikes work extremely well, scaring off birds that look good but seem to do nothing but eat and poop. To make me not appear as stupid as this post may make it seem, According a local paper, a whole bunch of the faux predators looked so lifelike that people even reported the “coyotes” thinking they were real (so. I have that going for me.)

On a separate note there is a very cool retail design shop in Dayton Ohio that actually has a pair of border collies that alternate sitting in front of the building to scare away their geese (I like that option better than the fake aardvark/coyote idea).

So. While I feel a little stupid, and the idea sounds stupid, at least it’s working for the high school.

And maybe I should drop a note to some of the local supermarkets and businesses because a whole bunch of them have been putting these fake owls (and yes … in this case I not only identified them properly as owls but I also recognized they were fake) to scare off the pigeons.

Oddly enough they seem to attract pigeons as I see lots of them crowding around the fake owl (boy. that was an effective tactic, huh?).

Maybe if they put some of these fake coyotes up there instead of the owls not only would geese stay away but maybe the pigeons would too.

That’s my free idea of the day. Anyone who wants to use it can.

Written by Bruce