A lot to college students’ amazement, animal encounters on campus have turn out to be as a lot of a Stanford quirk as CS106A enrollments — considerable and displaying no indicators of slowing down. After the earlier two installments (see intruding raccoons and spraying skunks) of this sequence, listening to extra quirky tales warranted a 3rd.
Other than the economics majors on campus, snakes have been found slithering round scholar dorms. Henry Liera ’22, accustomed to the hijinks of hares and raccoons (see earlier articles), recalled the invention of many snakes across the Enchanted Broccoli Forest (EBF) dorm. Springtime at Stanford ushers in “probably the most holy day of the 12 months,” in accordance with Liera. In response to him, this vacation final spring quarter introduced snakes wriggling across the parking heaps as residents caught COVID-19 left and proper. Liera claimed the dorm to be getting into “his Ebook of Revelations period,” with snakes and plague abound.
At Stanford, unsavory bike incidents appear to be as commonplace as flaking on lunch plans. Isabel Gallegos ’22 M.S. ’23 recalled a putting rabbit collision that grievously resulted in lack of limb for the fluffy creature. She was strolling in direction of the Engineering Quad her freshman 12 months. A person was rapidly biking via the gates on the fringe of Predominant Quad and concurrently, a rabbit was scampering throughout within the perpendicular route. “He was biking actually quick and the rabbit additionally appeared to be on the run,” mentioned Gallegos. When the rabbit’s presence dawned upon him, “the person yelped, however he was going so quick, he couldn’t cease.” Out of the blue, a ball of grey floof was suspended within the air.
In response to Gallegos, the rabbit’s tail appeared to have been cleaved off. “It was so weird. I didn’t imagine my eyes,” mentioned Gallegos. Because the biker sped off, the bunny scuttled away, although barely off-course from its authentic trajectory.
Communal bogs might be disturbing sufficient, however Julien Broussard ’24 didn’t count on the first-floor rest room in his dorm to turn out to be a funeral house for rodents. “The primary flooring rest room [was] a warzone,” Broussard mentioned.
At some point, he walked in and observed two fuzzy balls on the ground. Upon nearer inspection, he realized there was one mouse that had handed away and “an alive one mourning” the physique of its dearly departed. After capturing sufficient photos, together with a selfie, he finally departed the toilet himself. Broussard felt it incumbent upon himself to “to carry [the mouse story to] as many individuals as I may to see the spectacle.”
In his dorm, the mouse story “was the star of the present all day lengthy.” The putting incident conjured a combined bag of feelings for Broussard. “I felt actually unhappy and in addition thought it was actually cute and actually disgusting,” he mentioned. Though frankly, he was not that stunned by the scene given the state of affairs in his dorm.
When Joaquin Castillo M.S. ’23 got here to Stanford, he anticipated to benefit from the wealthy Bay Space biodiversity, however not so intimately, maybe. Castillo lives in residence housing amongst “plenty of loud squirrels” that “wish to scream proper outdoors [his] window.” When requested how he knew the squealing was of the squirrel persuasion, he responded that he had heard the identical sound in a tree on campus. “I ran to the tree to see what sort of chicken it was,” he mentioned. Alas, the perpetrator was not a chicken, however a black squirrel letting unfastened. Regardless of the comfort of his animal alarm clock, Castillo wearily opined that “the campus wants extra owls or one thing.”
If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter sequence, you would possibly recall Hagrid’s spider good friend Aragog, whose youngsters could possibly be seen roaming nooks and crannies on the fort grounds. Like Harry, Zach Lo ’23 had related arthropod encounters bookending his undergraduate profession. Throughout his freshman 12 months, he ran right into a furry tarantula on a morning run on the Dish. Lo mentioned, “I assumed, ‘holy shit, that’s loopy,’” then went about his day. After occurring a run this previous Fall quarter, Lo was astonished by the sight of not one, however 5 tarantulas scrabbling throughout the pavement. Pleased with his rising affinity for arachnids, Lo defined that, “The primary time, I freaked out. This time, I used to be excited.”
Jesus Cervantes ’23 had an eventful summer season on campus. One late night, he returned from a good friend’s place in Munger. “As I handed the put up workplace, I noticed a coyote by the dumpsters. So as to keep away from it, I took an extended route by way of Previous Union.” To his alarm, he caught sight of the coyote nearing him as he sneaked out of a door close to The Axe and Palm (TAP). “I do know coyotes are shy, so I assumed it was bizarre that it was approaching me. It was too shut, so I skeeted away.”
However Cervantes had yet one more story to share. With plans for a tranquil night of skateboarding, Cervantes took his board out to coast the hill close to Mayfield Avenue. However what, pray inform, did he see as he drifted down? A coyote skulking alongside the highway. To Cervantes, his night was “all going downhill” — each actually and figuratively. As he coasted down, the coyote began trotting behind him. Mulling over these distinct late-night encounters, Cervantes merely mentioned, “These coyotes keep following me.”
Animal run-ins are among the many trials and tribulations of being a Stanford scholar. As mundane as a weekly downside set, we settle for their presence, regardless of how persistent or perturbing.