May 10, 2007

Wildlife, Roads and . . . Art

Add this to the long, long list of things that I never thought of but in my quirkier moments wish that I had:

For the past several weeks, drivers near Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville have been noticing odd things about some of the roadkill on the sides of the area's highways.

Some of the dead possums and raccoons have been dressed in pet or human baby clothes and have had their claws painted with nail polish. The carcass of a deer has been adorned with gold paint.

The dresser of the dead is a grad student in art at SIU:

May said she is not an animal rights activist; she is just interested in seeing if people would give more thought to the animals if they were somehow given human attributes.

My last two nature-writing classes have been assigned Eliza Murphy's High Country News piece "Caught in the Headlights," about how her own obsession with highway death led her "into a world of scientists, wildlife rehabilitators and eccentrics who are mesmerized by the often bloody relationship between wildlife and roads."

A couple of them blogged about it, here and here.

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