“Lions, tigers and bears, Oh my!”

These are the animals Dorothy Gale had to fear in “The Wizard of Oz”, but at Fairfield University, most students are just as worried about the turkeys. But that’s not all. While the turkeys are a constant staple on both the Fairfield greens and outside the Danielle and Grace Tully Dining Commons, other Fairfield wildlife sightings include kamikaze chipmunks, stealthy skunks, giant groundhogs and many confused Stags (both of the human and animal kind.) Just like Dorothy, Fairfield students need to learn how to survive interactions with these creatures and, sadly, linking arms and singing tend to only provoke each of these fearsome beasts.

First and foremost: turkeys. The turkeys are everywhere. On the positive side, because of their loud early morning serenades, you will never miss an 8 a.m. class. On the negative, they’re loud, obnoxious and may or may not attack unsuspecting students (we here at the Mirror can neither confirm nor deny this rumor). With all of this, the main tips for turkeys are: if you’re a light sleeper, invest in earplugs, don’t bring a black shiny car to campus (shiny plus black creates mirrors and the turkeys apparently love to attack themselves, so you will end up with some interesting marks on your car) and, finally, turkeys fly and love to sit in tall trees, so be careful where you stand.

The chipmunks have fewer warnings attached. Cute and reminiscent of beloved cartoon character Alvin, no one expects any trouble from them. Until they race across your foot or jump, just missing you, from a branch twenty feet above the ground at 3 a.m. But, you know, they’re cute…

Skunks. Identifiable as hanging very low to the ground and entirely black with a long white stripe. If you see them, walk the other way. Warning: they like to show up on your way to the townhouses, so despite having a few drinks in you, try keeping your eyes open for these sneaky creatures. Do everything you can not to startle them. Should you startle them and get sprayed, well…take a few showers. I think tomato baths work? Just don’t torture your roommates by going into your apartment smelling that badly.

As if to mock our beloved mascot, stags and their female counterparts love to hang around campus. This results in some wonderful photoshoots, but also in some sad instances, including one four years ago where a lone stag raced into the Rudolph F. Bannow Science Center and could not get out. Much to the upset of the student body, the stag did not survive the experience. These stags are among the least threatening members of the Fairfield wildlife community, just don’t attack them and don’t get in between them and their young baby stags and you have nothing to worry about. As for how to survive Stags of the human variety…we can’t help with that. Good luck.

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