Monday, October 03, 2005

Texas roadkill

Roadkill? Yes, roadkill.

Driving the country side-roads of Ontario has caused me to start noticing trends in roadkill. One year I'll notice an abundance in groundhogs, another year raccoons, etc. On some roads you'll see fox, deer, or skunk, on another it will be squirrel or rabbit. No, I'm not being morbid, consider it a not-so-scientific interest of mine.

On our recent trip to Texas I had the opportunity to observe roadkill of an exotic nature:

#1 - Armadillo.
Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to meet a live armadillo as much as I wanted to.
A few interesting facts:
The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) is the only armadillo found in North America. Adults weigh between 12 - 17 pounds. They have few natural enemies; hunters, dogs, coyotes and automobiles are their biggest killers. They can be eaten. It's thought that people who handle the armadillo are increasing their chances of contracting leprosy. In 1981 it became the official state mascot of Texas.

#2 - "Wild" boar.
Wild? From what I was told the boar that roam Texas are not naturally wild, more feral than anything. We only saw one boar, but it was a very large one.

#3 - Dog.
This is what shocked me the most. I was horrified and sad at the first dog we passed. After our second, third, fourth and fifth sighting, and after almost hitting two myself, I started to realize that Ontario and Texas were different in how they view dogs. In Texas, canines run the countryside free, if one doesn't come home you just get another one. It's not like that in Southern Ontario, even outside the cities. I'm sure if I lived in Texas it would become commonplace, but I wonder how long it would take for me to shake being disturbed by the sight of man's best friend on the roads?

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