Where's all the dead wildlife?

Here in my true north city we have lots of urban wildlife – squirrels, raccoons, skunks, possums, the odd fox or coyote, plus the usual gazillion birds. Why is it then that, other than roadkill (and, when it comes to birds, the occasional cat-kill), I never see any corpses?

You know that wildlife? Any dead wildlife gets eaten by the other wildlife.

the bugs ate it

I learned from that possum thread a little bit back that possums are mighty warriors in dead animal disposal.

Most of the dead wild animals are in the stomachs of some of the live wild animals.

I saw a dead deer once behind my house. I was pretty freaked out and asked my Dad (an outdoorsman/hunter type from way back) what I should do about it.

He told me that it wouldn’t last a day, and not to worry about it.

Sure enough, went back the next day, and there was no sign it had ever been there.

A wizard did it.

Yes, of course. I do know that happens, but not instantaneously, and not over the six months or so (that’s winter here) when the bugs are all comatose.

Maybe scavenging is the only answer… but I never see that happening either. Guess I’ll have to start wandering the streets in the middle of the night?

You can see dead wildlife if you are the right place at the right time. I have seen everything from dead deer, to fox, to mink. However, they don’t tend to hang around long. I happened upon a relatively recent deceased deer at the back of my property a couple of years ago. It was completely stripped within a day and a half and even most of the bones were gone. Everything from vultures to coyotes to microorganisms wants a piece of that action.

Well, there’s also the matter that seriously-ill and mortally-injured animals typically go to ground someplace out of sight; they don’t just hang out in the open until they keel over dead.

I don’t want to go on the cart!

I see dead deer and other animals by the side of the road that can be camped out there for several days with no bites taken out of them or significant decomposition. How could an entire deer disappear in a day? Granted, I live in a close-in suburban area, and maybe a pack of coyotes could take care of a deer in a day, but is that what really happened?

Dead people also get eaten by animals if they die in the woods and are not buried.

Even if they did not devour it on the spot, they likely would drag it away somewhere to keep it from other predators. Coyotes travel around even big cities at night and most people have no idea they are there.

And here in the West, there are also bobcats, mountain lions, buzzards, ravens and other critters that get rid of the carcasses pretty quickly. The first thing we noted when we moved out here is the almost complete absence of roadkill. It does not last long

In mass die offs people notice. As ones and twos they just go unoticed and get eaten.
Dead Starlings

The solution to pollution is dilution. They tend not to die in big centrally located piles.

The dead wildlife is eaten by all the baby pigeons.

Or if they die in their houses with their pets and are not found for a few days.

I can understand the meaty parts, but I can toss a chicken bone in the backyard and find it a year later. Why isn’t nature filled with bones?

Some wild animals have a tendency to drag off carcasses, bury bones, or otherwise stash free food. You didn’t think dogs sharpen their claws on begonias for the fun of it, did you? :slight_smile: