The oversize wheel scooter, the most head-turning form of transportation at UCSB, is now at risk of extinction, biologists on campus say.
Because the oversize wheel scooter population has fallen nearly 30 percent in just three academic quarters, scientists put it on the official watch list of threatened and endangered species across campus, calling its population “on the way out.” That’s one step up the danger ladder from its prior classification as “meme-able.”
In the fall of 2016, there were between 1,000 and 1,500 oversize wheel scooters, but in the spring quarter of this year, the number was down to just 13, according to the University of California Nature Organization (UCNO).
“You won’t be seeing oversize wheel scooters on your daily commute anymore,” one scientist told reporters, adding that you will likely have to wait for next year’s incoming class before they begin to reappear. “Seeing as to why they are disappearing, I can’t imagine they’ll be sorely missed,” he noted.
Scientists blame an increasing amount of odd looks from students for why oversize wheel scooter numbers have dwindled so rapidly. “You can’t expect a freshman who is trying to find his or her place at this university to keep riding that monstrosity on wheels,” said an environmental studies major. “If every head you pass is in the midst of double-taking, you will soon tire and neglect the rare organism.”
For two quarters, the riders of oversize wheel scooters had pushed for their steeds to be recognized and protected. At a biodiversity meeting on Tuesday inside the basement of Storke Tower, the UCNO increased the threat level for oversize wheel scooters and 5 other species on campus. Included on the list was your GPA after next week’s finals.
To best mitigate the loss of these animals, funding from the university has been granted for educating UCSB students about how to react when they see scooters roll on by them. “We want to really focus on getting stopping-dead-in-your-tracks-and-staring-slack-jawed down to a reasonable amount,” explained the project leader.
The oversize wheel scooter is the only land mammal to be both ironic and completely serious as a manner of transportation from one location to another. Riders of these majestic beasts are known to wear protective head gear and the occasional elbow pad. Oversize wheel scooters have a complex social structure. Groups of sometimes 15 scooters may form, notably females with micro-scooters in tow. Adult males defend territories of roughly one square mile of campus, which they mark vigorously with skid marks.
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