Why “roadkill”?

Long ago on 24 August 2019, ok, not that long ago, I did a bicycle trip in Malaysia, about 110 kilometres between Pengerang and Desaru in Johor.

Along the way, there were dead birds, snakes and lizards on the asphalt in varying stages of decay. I passed them all by, most at the side of the road, in plain view just below my left hand gripping the handlebar.

Birds, snakes and lizards are pretty typical roadkills in these parts, but then things got, well, different.

There were probably a few dogs, but that’s not so unusual, so I’m not sure. But there were wild boars. One mid-size one on its back and intact. All four legs sticking out, set in place by rigor mortis, as if it was a museum piece someone had accidentally knocked over.

Further down the road was a larger wild boar. I first came upon the majority of its torso at the side of the road, from the tail to the shoulders, anyway. Then there were a few scattered bits until I reached its head about ten metres beyond the torso.

Some hours later, I came upon a small monkey. Its body intact, it lay motionless at the roadside, all normal like except for one cartoonish eye that was bulging out of the eye socket, about twice the normal size, looking up at me appearing to ask, “You think your but is sore?”

By the time I got home, I felt as if I was in an episode of Animal Planet that had been rebranded to Dead Animal Planet.

The experience left such an impression that, yeah, it probably influenced the whole roadkill and other observations thing.

Published by Thomas Timlen

Where to begin? Perhaps the web content says it best...

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