Faces of Death

August 10, 2011 at 12:22 am | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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Words of Caution: The following posting contains graphic imageries not suitable for those who are faint-hearted. Read at your own risk or come back again when we have more family-oriented or children-friendly posts…hahah... 8)

“One more!”

“Another one!”

“Oh gosh…one more! Can I go down and see?”

Itchyfingers were driving in New Zealand during our first road trip overseas and we kept passing by roadkills along the way. I was curious as to what animals they were, so I kept pestering Tisu Boy to stop the car and check them out. But he would always refused because it was dangerous to stop, unless the road was sufficiently wide enough for us to pull over. Of course there was also the morbid and gross factors involved as they were dead animals afterall.

One day,Tisu Boy finally gave in and stopped the car as it was a relatively quiet and wide stretch. At last we confirmed our guess as to who were these poor victims of the road….

A possum…It looked like it was killed not too long ago…There was barely
any blood but it could be on the other side of the body or perhaps it died
of a deadly internal injury   

Look at the prehensile tail…The Common Bushtail Possum (Trichosurus
is a native from Australia but was introduced into New Zealand
in the 19th century

Like many other introduced species, these possums create a problem for the
adopted environment. They are considered a pest as they love the native Rata
. We saw many shops selling products like gloves, hats, scarves etc made with

possums’ fur. They called this “eco-fur”, as the animals are a threat to native flora
and fauna. By culling/harvesting them from the wild, the authority are thus
controlling their population. The products feel reasonably soft and warm,
but I find the thought of using fur 
products repulsive if animals need to be killed
to keep us warm…It was 
especially gross whenever we thought of the numerous
possum roadkills…not 
that they used them to make into scarves lah…haha.. 

Similarly, we also saw many roadkills when driving along the Malaysian roads, especially those lined with oil palm plantations. This day, we happened to drive past one roadkill which looked quite complete…er…meaning it was not squashed beyond recognition…Again, I had to keep pestering Tisu Boy before he finally relented and stopped the car for me to take a quick look…I was not obsessed with animal carcasses lah…was just curious about the kinds of wild animal that lived out there…

Goodness.. Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) or Toddy Cat, is also
called Musang in Malay. This is the animal used on the Raffles Museum of
Biodiversity Research (RMBR) logo. It looked so bloated that we didn’t dare
to scrutinise too closely or stay too long in case it exploded due to the built-up
pressure… Palm Civets like the palm fruits and this one probably got killed while
trying to cross the road…So poor thing…have not had the fortunate to see a wild one,
especially when this uncommon animal is nocturnal

It is never a nice experience to encounter roadkills since it usually means that the wild animals are driven out of their native habitats in search of food. It is even more unpleasant and sad when the dead animal happens to be a rare species. There has been reports of roadkills like the pangolin, banded leaf monkey and even otter in Singapore! Certainly hope that these animals will find a safer haven when the bridge across BKE (Eco-link) connecting the nature reserve on both sides of the expressway is completed!

Also see related post:
> The Smell of Death
> New Lease of Life
> Alien vs Natives
> Close Encounter with an Otter 


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