In recent weeks deer in Montgomery County, Maryland have lashed out in an attempt to combat the displacement experienced as a result of construction for the Inter County Connector (ICC). The ICC, which will serve as an efficient pathway between Montgomery County and its neighbor Prince George’s County, has uprooted a significant deer community near Briggs-Cheney road. Forced, they feel, against a wall, the deer have begun to disrupt the commutes of the county’s human residents in different ways.
Though initially resolved to fight the unguided relocation through non-violent means, the deer have suffered many setbacks in the fight for that patch of green. The initial letter writing campaign organized by some of the deer, failed to gain momentum upon the realization that they possessed neither opposable thumbs for holding writing implements, nor keyboards conducive to use by hoof. Attempts, by the deer, to attend any of the forums regarding the building of the ICC, were thwarted both by the convoluted system of travel favored by humans, and by the cunning use of the “Shoo!” system. Artists within the deer community thought there were making measurable headway and possibly on the verge of a breakthrough, when municipal officials removed their symbolic representations, A Load of Crap, and Poo Creek.
In their desperation, some of the deer have resorted to more direct methods, hoping to inspire more advocacies among human groups. Many deer families have begun camping out in traditionally human areas, sheds and fenced-in backyards being popular choices. The benefit being twofold as this tactic both increases awareness of the deer’s predicament and provides temporary shelter for the deer. Attempting to press the urgency of their plight and the pain it causes, some of the loners among the ranks have made roadway visiting a larger part of their daily ritual; darting through traffic at irregular intervals. Ostensibly, these deer are using this to inspire panicked drivers to insist on proper housing for the deer as a whole. Many skeptics, some within the deer community, believe these to be entirely unrelated cries for help, stemming more from relational failings than from the housing crisis at hand.
Montgomery County’s human population, long ago having accepted mild to moderate overlapping of their world with that of the local deer, expresses upset with the increased crossing over of the other group. Contrary to the hopes of the mobilizing deer, much of the human displeasure seems directed at their four footed neighbors, rather than at the establishment forcing them to the outskirts of the area.
For now, the deer are united and determined to continue their fight for adequate space and housing in the Montgomery County area. And while health care, education, and proper treatment of the deceased remain significant issues area deer from every walk of life agree this may be the issue that finally gets them invited to the table (and not for dinner this time). To date the ICC building project continues unabated, with the disenfranchised deer trying to make themselves heard over all the noise of the construction noise.
Photo by: http://wainson.deviantart.com/