Roadkill laying on the road surface is bad...flat...usually unrecognizable, and not much more than a stain. We just run over the roadkill like everyone before us did... without so much as a second thought.
But dead animals laying in repose beside the road is much worse and evokes a different reaction.
As we drive the roads every day we see them. We don't like it, but they are thrust into our faces at 55 mph.
Usually we can tell what animal was that was killed and the kids that are awake say "look at that. I think it was a "porcupine" or a "rabbit" or a "deer or a fox."
Then we have to explain why it was covered with flies or maggots, why it was so bloated and round, or why it was half eaten...and then we move on to a different subject...but we never forget what we saw and the tragedy of it. And the kids don't either.
We know that because it will suddenly be the topic of conversation with grandpa later on.
Did you know we treat these dead animals differently across the country?
- In some places, where the taxes are aplenty and fund road crews 24/7, the crews are dispatched quickly by the sheriff to pick up every dead animal they see.
- In other places, where there is no fat in the budget, natural road crews of crows and fox and opossum dispose of it quickly because it is a fast food restaurant meal for them. They have to eat fast...or they also will become the newest roadkill.
- Up North where the cold keeps a dead animal fresh longer, the big animals...deer and moose...disappear from the roadside quickly because someone will stop and take it home to be cut up and put in the freezer or to be tossed out on a frozen lake to give hungry bald eagles a easy meal in the middle of the winter.
- In most places however, the animal lays there, swells from decomposition gases, often explodes, and after the gases escape, the animal shrinks slowly decaying and natures predators scatter the bones.