This is Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Jason Goldman.
Are you afraid of sharks? What about snakes or spiders? Put those fears aside: because in the U.S. you're far more likely to be killed or injured by a deer bounding across the road.
Bambi and his kind cause more 200 humans deaths each year, plus some 29,000 injuries, all because of 1.2 million collisions between vehicles and deer. Most incidents occur in the eastern U.S., where deer thrive without natural predators like wolves and mountain lions.
"That's the region in the U.S. where deer-vehicle collisions are such a problem, and where it seems like an effective large carnivore restoration could make a really big difference."
University of Washington wildlife biologist Laura Prugh. She thinks it would help to reintroduce predators like mountain lions, also known as cougars, pumas or panthers, to parts of their historic range from which they've been driven out.
Crunching the numbers, the researchers say that bringing the big cats back to the eastern U.S. would mean 22 percent fewer collisions between cars and deer over three decades. Each year would see five fewer human deaths, 680 fewer injuries and a savings of some $50 million.
"Cougars have shown that they can coexist in close proximity with people, with very few conflicts, in a lot of areas out west."
Still, some folks might be understandably nervous about this kind of plan. After all, reintroducing predators doesn't come without risks to pets and to livestock, and very occasionally to people.
"Our fear of large carnivores is so primal and ingrained that I don't think it's possible to just completely override it with statistics…what I hope is that knowing that there actually can be some measurable benefits might make people a little more favorably inclined and maybe balance that fear a little bit."
Indeed, the statistics show that cougars would prevent five times as many human deaths from deer-related accidents as they would cause by attacks. But it'll be a tough sell: the press will cover cougar attacks, but a statistically prevented death does not make the news. Nevertheless, "If people in Hollywood can put up with having mountain lions around, I would hope that New Yorkers would be up for the challenge as well."
Thanks for listening for Scientific American — 60-Second Science Science. I'm Jason Goldman.
鹿每年都会导致200多人丧命，约2.9万人受伤，这是因为机动车辆和小鹿发生了120万次碰撞 。大多数事故发生在美国东部地区，由于鹿在这里没有狼、美洲狮等天敌，所以导致鹿群数量猛增 。
劳拉·普鲁夫是华盛顿大学的野生动物学家 。她认为将之前被驱逐的美洲狮引入会有帮助 。
来研究一下数字，研究人员表示，将这种大型猫科动物引入美国东部地区，这意味着在未来30余年，鹿和车辆发生的碰撞事件将会减少22% 。每年的死亡人数将减少5人，受伤人数将减少680人，同时将节省5千万美元 。
但是，可能仍有人对这一计划感到担心，这也是可以理解的 。毕竟，重新引入捕食者会给宠物、牲畜带来威胁，而且偶尔也可能会给人类带来不利 。
实际上，数据表明，与美洲狮袭击人类造成的死亡人数相比，引入美洲狮可以使因鹿导致的车祸死亡人数减少5倍 。但这将是一项艰巨的任务：媒体仍会报道美洲狮袭击事件，但是却不会报道引入美洲狮可以避免人员伤亡的新闻 。尽管如此，“如果好莱坞的人们可以忍受美洲狮的存在，那么我希望纽约的人们也可以勇敢面对这个挑战 。”
谢谢大家收听科学美国人——60秒科学 。我是我是杰森·古德曼 。
1. put aside 把…放在一边；忘记；不考虑；
例句：He put aside his work to spend more time with his son.
2. be likely to do sth. 可能（做…）的；有（…）倾向的；
例句：If you throw yourself at the girl, she's likely to run away.
3. after all 毕竟；终究；
例句：After all, he has had a good long innings.
4. put up with 忍受；容忍；
例句：I can't put up with your hypocricy any more.