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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Watch out for armadillos!

Remember the tale of St. Louis-area native Dan Schmatz and his encounter with an armadillo during the 2007 Tour of Missouri? Schmatz broke his collarbone when he struck an armadillo during the second stage of the race.

Well, cyclists should be aware there are armadillos in Southwestern Illinois. Belleville News-Democrat outdoors reporter Rod Kloeckner tells the story of a New Athens man, Bob Rutkowski, who had an encounter with a live armadillo while hiking at the Kaskaskia River Fish and Wildlife Area. Rutkowski took the photo at left, which appeared in today's News-Democrat.

Dr. Joyce Hofmann, a senior research scientist and mammalogist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, told the News-Democrat that since 1999, there have been 130 recorded sightings of armadillos in Illinois. The bulk have come from 22 counties in Southwestern Illinois, bracketed by Interstate 70 to the north and Interstate 57 to the east. More than 70 percent of the sightings have been road kill.

Given my track record of hitting a female cyclist and a block of wood on the road, I know I'll being watching out for dead armadillos on the road!

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Roger 1 comments links to this post 2:05 PM

Hey I know Bob personally actually. I work with him and see him around regularly. He owns that site www.siloutdoors.com. Congrats on becomin famous Bob!
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