I am sure you are familiar with this terminology of roadkill.
Lately, I have been spotting quite a few animals on the road killed by motor vehicles. Seeing roadkill gives me chills every time.
I started wondering, why does roadkill happen and how are others not able to feel anything about it?
Drivers either drive too fast, so they are unable to brake when an animal approaches a busy street, or they are unable to see animals when it is dark outside.
I read a few articles which say that some drivers do it intentionally.
I was baffled. How can someone do something so horrendous?
As a society, we don’t give equal importance to animals.
We would feel extreme pain if anything happened to our pet dog, pet cat, pet rat or any animal that we take care of.
However, we are least bothered about wild animals who are in greater risk of danger.
I was also wondering that drivers press their brakes when they see a human being walking, but why is it that they cannot see an animal?
It is pure negligence and arrogance.
We don’t value animal’s lives as much as we value lives of humans, but they have equal rights to live on this earth as we do.
We build roads in the middle of the forest and expect no animals to cross it? To top that all, we kill them and drive by as if nothing happened.
Now we have reached a point that none of us, including myself, will stop or cringe when we see any animal’s body on roads.
Perhaps, this has become a part of our culture.
Let me give you some numbers and let’s see what make you feel bad or sad about this problem.
In a paper that I read, from 1990 to 2005, the human deaths reported due to animal distraction or hitting increased from 111 to 200.
The same reports mentioned that drivers hit almost 97,000 deer from second half of 2005 to first half of 2006.
Within one year, we were successful in killing 97,000 deer not including squirrels, raccoon, or baby foxes..
In addition, 41 million squirrels, 26 million cats, 22 million rats, 19 million opossum, six million dogs and 350,000 deer are killed in United States annually.
This atrocity is not recognized by several places and people. They are ignored and reprimanded, because according to them, wildlife doesn’t matter.
However, many researchers are trying to find a solution to roadkill, like attaching a collar on wild animals if possible, or setting a long fence in middle of road and forest.
Even then, I believe it depends on the outlook of the driver. If they can drive carefully near areas where you see a forest approaching, then we are more likely to not kil more wild animals.
There is another report that talks about how roadkill is the reason behind the decline of many endangered species.
Almost 50% of deaths of Florida panthers is because of roadkill.
Due to these accidents, there is a lot of money that is being wasted.
Almost more than $18,000 is spent on each accident, car repairs or hospital bills and this is if you hit an average size animal. The cost is about $30,000 if you hit a larger animal.
So all this money, lives and resources are wasted from not being careful and mindful drivers.
One of the reasons reported is that those animals come on roads to lick accumulated salt that we use during winters.
That’s why I spot too many dead animals right near the edges of roads.
To mitigate the whole situation, some serious measures need to be initiated.
Many stop and speed limit signs are installed all over the place, and I think there need to be many other signs that mention wildlife areas and request to slow down and drive cautiously.
Although, I think some serious changes should also be initiated for the drivers to pay more attention before these signs.
As long as the government neglects to show the importance of animals and their rights on earth and on roads, society will not take roadkill seriously.
I request you all who drive, please ensure that you are not killing any animal on roads or highways.