As a lover of nature and of animals, I am constantly disheartened by the amount of roadkill I witness on the roads of Western North Carolina. The senseless death of so many animals seems to be one of the sad side-effects of our fast-moving society.
In the past few weeks I have witnessed the deaths of four mallard ducks, killed on the same curvy, narrow stretch of North Mills River Road. This is a well-traveled road that enters Pisgah National Forest. It is also a popular spot for ducks. As I drove around this particular bend a few weeks ago, I came upon the dead carcass of a female mallard, its mate standing loyally in the road next to it. I moved the dead carcass to the side of the road and buried it under leaves, thinking this would be the least I could do.
Well, for days that male mallard appeared on the side of the road, waiting for its mate. A few days later, it too was dead, killed in the same manner. I suspect lumber trucks, since who else wouldn’t swerve to avoid a duck? Well, today I saw another dead female in almost the same exact spot. My heart is heavy from the sight of such a beautiful bird, who has traveled so far, to be laying dead on the road.
Surely, we humans can slow down from our high speed lives and let the creatures that enter our paths pass without being killed. Please slow down for animals, and take the time to enjoy the beauty of nature.