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Human-Wildlife Conflict And A Case For Coexistence 'When Nature Breaks The Law'

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In her newest book, acclaimed weird-science writer Mary Roach explores the curious intersection of human behavior and “problem” wildlife, and asks: “What is the proper course when wild animals break laws intended for people?”

Human-wildlife conflict is an increasingly relevant scientific discipline, as the ever-expanding human habitat brings more people into contact with the animal world. Roach's survey of species runs the gamut from vandal gulls in St. Peter's Square and tearoom-invading Indian elephants to a bear seminar in Reno, menacing leopards in Himalayan hamlets, rat bait taste tests and even a macaque mugging.

What are the biggest takeaways from Roach's research on human-wildlife confrontations? What is the most effective, ethical way for humans to deal with wild animals that break laws intended for people?

How have humans historically learned to coexist with other species? How has the nature of human-wildlife interactions changed over time?

Will humans and wildlife, including plants, continue to find ways to coexist or will a broadening human habitat put them constantly at odds?

Guest: Mary Roach, science writer and author of several books including "Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law" (available Sept. 14, 2021)

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Monday, September 13.