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Safe Passages Development Project Improves Wildlife Safety at Duchess Sanctuary

“Jump-overs,” “crawl-unders” and “pass-throughs” were created at Duchess Sanctuary in Oregon to allow deer and bobcats to safely cross the property; to enable opossums, rabbits and turtles to pass under, and foxes, coyotes and skunks to walk through unimpeded. An innovative bear bridge created an overhead walkway for bears, cougars and raccoons, allowing them to climb and cross a fence without touching it.

Experts constructed the passages since fencing designed to keep certain animals, in this case the sanctuary’s 188 horses, within protected areas can often be too high for other animals to jump over, too low to crawl under, or the wires can be too close to crawl through. Since wild animals attempt to get through fencing to reach known water sources, follow a migratory path or evade danger, such design elements can lead to wildlife injuries and entrapment.

To improve and protect existing wildlife habitat while providing equine and wildlife safe fencing, the team implemented a development plan to install practical and effective methods for keeping horses in, but allowing wild animals to safely enter and leave the property.

The project was a collaboration between the Fund for Animals’ Duchess Sanctuary and The Humane Society of the United States’ Wildlife Innovations and Response Team.

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