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The End Of The Road

The End Of The Road
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-10-23
Categories: Mammals, Bushveld
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 100, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger National Park - 2006
Theme(s): Mammals of Southern Africa, some blood, but it's nature, Squirrels II, Wildlife of Africa, !Loodzwaar, Xit left: 1, 2, 3 ..., A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1, Tree Squirrels [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-01-05 13:35
Viewed: 8367
Points: 57
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
African Tree Squirrel - Paraxerus cepapi

The end of the road for this unfortunate little animal. It was captured on the S39, north of Satara camp and ±100m south of the Ratelpan Bird Hide next to the Timbavati River.

Roadkill is a term describing animals fatally struck by or ridden over by vehicles on roads and freeways. Since the early 20th century, roadkill became a common sight after the internal combustion engine and the automobile was discovered. The problem is that animals had previously never encountered 2-ton metal objects racing across the landscape, and thus never ever evolved appropriate instincts for dealing with the new threat.

During my recent visit to Kruger Park I was deeply troubled with the number of roadkills I've observed. It is heartbreaking to see how many animals are killed in this way. Add to this the animals that are injured on the roads, only to die of such injury far away from the point of injury. It is such an unnecessary tragedy and a total waste to keep on loosing animals in this way and unfortunately we know what the reason is…human error. I think it will take a great effort to 'educate' those that are responsible for such animal deaths.

While driving at only 15-30 km/h it is frightening how far a car still goes before it will stop, after applying the brakes. On a good road surface and with decent tyres at 15 km/h the stopping distance is ±3m and at 30 km/h it is ±12m. Something people tend to forget is that stopping distance is a function of the square of the speed – thus twice as fast means four-times the stopping distance.

It just saddens me and sometimes I really want to bash some heads in when seeing what certain people are up to. I sincerely hope this will be a reminder for tourists what they can cause when speeding or not properly attending to the road. However, let's not always just blame the tourist. Although some might be guilty of this, I think the greater problem resides with commuting staff that don't live in the staff villages. Possibly this is due to the subcontracting of the shops and restaurants as the staff are allowed to live outside the park and commute. The number of questionable or obviously un-roadworthy cars or taxi’s that went speeding past me during my stay in KNP, appears to support this theory as these cars clearly had NO interest in game viewing and NO consideration for those who had stopped at a sighting.

To compound the problem even further is the substantial dilemma with the large number of delivery vehicles and a lesser number of construction or roadwork vehicles. Most of these appeared to be driving FAR too fast and with NO concern for visitors who are viewing the game. I even had a horrific experience when an ice-cream delivery truck, while approaching me from the front, deliberately came across to my side of the road and forced me to swerve off the road in order to miss the truck. I obviously followed it to Satara rest camp and reported the driver to the officials at the camp. I don’t think that driver will be doing any deliveries inside the Kruger Park soon again.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0

fthsm, ellis49, Fisher, blakitan, Janice, Dyker, dew77, Silvio2006, peter_stoeckl, jeanpaul, scottevers7, Aaltjie, jcoowanitwong, nainnain, whjb, Shoot_Score, oscarromulus, vanderschelden, valy67, annagrace, rufous03, Finland_in_Eton, bobair, kessi, Leace, Miss_Piggy, sranjan, betsie, Mick_M, Rehanna has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Life and death in naturewinterpalace 1 12-15 08:03
bonjour LOOTnainnain 2 01-17 20:17
To scottevers7: Love of high speed driving!!!loot 4 01-11 12:20
To Dyker: Lessons in conservationloot 4 01-10 19:59
To Shoot_Score: Wolfing wolvesloot 2 01-10 19:35
To saguzar: Who will think of the animals?loot 1 01-10 18:33
To peter_stoeckl: Consider the nameless fatalitiesloot 1 01-10 17:21
To Aaltjie: Één gelukkig ogenblikloot 1 01-10 17:02
To pilonm: New Year resolutionsloot 1 01-10 16:18
To SunToucher: Faster is Lessloot 1 01-10 16:11
To nainnain: Thanksloot 1 01-10 15:28
To MiguelPappan: All is fineloot 1 01-10 03:34
To anahory: Hard realityloot 1 01-06 23:46
To Fisher: Staying powerloot 1 01-06 23:37
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Critiques [Translate]

Well my friend,
It's going to be deleted, no rroad kills allowed.

Excellent shot and well done on the composition.
I have a Coon with the gutts sticking out. ;) :)


Hi Loot,
Let's wish that this kind of accident will not happen again, not only for squirrel but also for all of wild animals.

Ben Lakitan

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-01-05 22:51]
  • [2]

Oops Loot - no dead animals allowed!!
No, I can't see that written down anywhere, but the story is one we need to hear, and it's not just in the Parks over there.
Good one MF

Hi Loot!
I think treknature makes a bad service to nature by deleting this photo...This photo calls our atention and arouses counscience to this problem.One photo really worths a thousand words,and to contribute to wildlife and nature preservation is(or should be ) obligation of this site!
best regards

Strange rules here around....why always pretending ideal world...

Show the things as they are...that is photograhphy...

Hi Loot,
it's not good to find dead animals by the roads, I know.
Up here we have great population of Elks ( third larges population in the world). The accidents was so many that we these days have big fencing on the motorways and other big roads.
Sad about the Squirrel. A great note as usual.
Well done, my friend.

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-01-06 15:29]
  • [2] [+]

Hello Loot
YOu have done it again by taking a practical scene from the park and turn it into a nature conservation coaching lesson. This is such good notes with the supporting photograph and I just can not understand why the people are so reluctant to critique it. At 121 views with only 6 critiques I am wondering if people only want to see nice little birds and fancy insects, but not the true realities of life. I am not judging, but only making an observation. You did well with the photo, nice colours, good focus, clear DOF, and good light.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-01-06 16:30]

Hello Loot,
Before i'd red the story i thougt he is sleeping.It's a scary scane and hope it never happens again.Poor squirrel.Well caught,framed and composed.Excellent note too.Have a great weekend!

  • Great 
  • whjb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 51 W: 26 N: 172] (683)
  • [2007-01-07 7:17]
  • [2]

Hi Loot,

A subject close to my heart as well. Very dramatic photo with a lot of impact. I see some of the commentators believe it might be deleted? No where in the rules can I find that this type of photo is not allowed.

Thank you, will be posting one of my own and sharing some of my experience, too.

Sien jou later.

Hello Loot,
an every day tragedy, no less tragical considering it is happening all of the time, all over the world, day by day. Sadly well captured image, well said words in the notes.
Normally, nobody mentions or even considers the nameless fatalities we are causing when speeding down a highway.
Thank you for taking up that theme.
With best regards,

Bonjour Lott
J'apprécie ta note sur cette route qui tue.Je demeure en forêt sur le bord d'un lac et la route qui y mène n'est pas large et est bordée de forêts et souvent nous voyons des liêvres,des porc épics ainsi qu'une famille de renards au complet,5 petits et leur mère et des ecureuils ainsi que des oiseaux mort sur l'asphalte .
Bravo et merci de nous faire cette présentation

Hi Loot,
A compelling photo and notes. I would be willing to bet that the United States has more road kills than any other nation. Our obesssion for vehicles and roads, coupled with the love of high speed driving, is very bad for the wild life. As a police officer working nights I would see it first hand. I guess the only thing good that comes out of it is they usually then become a meal for the scavengers. An excellent photo and reminder how fragile life really is.
Take care my friend!

Hallo is mijn friend
It een lange tijd geweest aangezien ik uw fotogalerij heb kunnen bezoeken. Ik ben zeker u begrijpt dat het hebbend uw eigen computer niet moeilijk is, aangezien ik verwanten en vrienden overzee tot het eind van Januari 2007 bezoek. Ik kon niet langer wachten om mijn favoriete website te bezoeken en beloofde iedereen ik avondmaal voor een week zal koken als zij me slechts een middag zouden laten hebben om alle mooie nieuwe toevoegingen van foto's aan Trek Nature te zien. Het is niet gemakkelijk als iedereen uw aandacht wil en aan u wil spreken, maar deelt niet de zelfde belangen zoals zelf Ik zal proberen en zal één of twee meer van uw nieuwe foto's bezoeken en ik zal ook enkele andere begaafde fotografen van Zuid-Afrika moeten bezoeken.
Er is enkel geen tijd om andere landenfotografen te bezoeken, zelfs als ik wilde het zo veel doen Ik ga met Dyker akkoord. Het is een dergelijk medelijden dat alle mensen die u normaal het krediet voor uw andere foto's geven u niet dit keer bezoeken en u de punten geven het verdient. Jammer genoeg is het een feit van het leven dat de dieren op de weg worden gedood. Het is geen mooi beeld maar men moet met het leven. Misschien willen de mensen enkel de mooie dingen in het leven en enkel draai weg zien wanneer zij een foto als dit zien. Het slechte ding. Dank u nogmaals voor uw zeer informatieve nota!

Hello Loot,

You did very well by presenting such a road kill to begin the new year! Hoping that people will take resolutions to drive more securely and more slowly on our roads! This poor little guy, seen now by hundredth of people will maybe become a representation of that threat that only few discuss: the road kill situation in so much countries...

Thank you, Loot, for your implication here! It is really appreciated!!!


Hi Loot,
This is a tragic sight, and you see it happen all over the world. My parents and I were really surprised about what we saw in Yellowstone park. The speed limits in the park is 40 miles per hour, which I still find too fast, but how many people you see speeding is just terrible. I have been passed by so many cars. These idiots are not able to stop in time when wildlife crosses the road. It really surprised me to see it in a National Park, where people come to see wildlife. But I guess they want to get from one spot to another as fast as possible to not mis out on any of the beauty of the park, since most people visit the park for just a few days.

Before I forget, My dad said hi. He still thinks of you and wondered how you recovery is going after the surgery. He is thinking of buying a better photo camera, but I don't think he will post on TN. He is just too busy with video. He does visit the site once in a while, and does appreciate the beauty of the site.

Take care my friend.


Hi Loot,
A tragedy scene. Good note to remind all of us and to help prevent roadkill.

tres bonne note explicative, mais ceci malgré que ce soit une bonne capture reste triste pour cette pauvre bête
merci du partage

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-01-09 23:00]
  • [2]

Hello Loot

A very sombre shot that brings attention to a problem that plagues all roadways.I do not see a solution,because wildlife can be unpredictable and run back and forth and even the most cautious driver can find themselves running down wildlife.I have had several near misses with deer who slip and slide on frozen roadways on their sharp hooves,or that just dart out in front of you.Good shot with good low POV and sharp detail.TFS


Hi Loot,
a sad view, and like tell Niek occurs all over the world. In Argentina you can see birds, armadillos, opposums, lots of abbandoned dogs,etc, etc. Drivers usually want to avoid impacts only for not damaging the car. If here we can stop human death in roads with 30 deads by day in the country, who will think in animals? Only a minory.
Despite of all a very good reminder of our bad acts.

My MOST dear,DEAR friend Loot,
So very sad to see a road kill. It does NOT happen here
that often; not intentionally, am assuming. The majority of these fatalities are at night. The odd deer,or skunk.
I hope it stays on TN; it may not last. You are doing a great job bringing this matter to the fore. The whole world needs to drive more carefully.
You have made a great favour to us all by this posting.
Keep it up, Loot.
Great photo, well composed & presented.
Best regards,

Dead or alive? I want to firstly address this issue:

I have not found ANY guidelines "dead or alive" that stipulate that a photo of a dead WILD animal is not allowed.
That said, I don't understand the large number of comments abt this photo being removed.

In addition, would a wolf wolfing down a dead deer be a problem? The only thing missing here is the "predator"... and thank goodness for that!

I think Loot has done a service to TN by drawing attention to a serious problem! That of roadkill! I pass my complements to him. I for one would sooner see this than yet another sterile shot of a zoo-ed animal.

Here in Nova Scotia there is a story that runs like this:
Q. "What do you do when you are lost in the woods?"
A. "Follow a porcupine! It is sure to find a road!"

The reason being the large number of these fabulous - but slow - creatures being killed by careless and couldn't care less" drivers.

OK, good shot Loot, and excellent presentation with Note and all! So long, ;j.

PS Is that stone on the corpse for a reason. I would have removed it < picky picky > unless it is a "headstone". R.I.P. lil critter.

Hello Loot !
What a sad picture... It's the same here in France, almost each day when I go to work I see a dead or a wounded animal on the road, it's getting worse and worse. I liked reading your note, also. Very well done !

  • Good 
  • marty Silver Star Critiquer [C: 22 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-01-16 21:04]

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Sad but true. It's especially sad that people are speeding in the game park. That guy in the ice cream truck was a jerk and I'm glad you reported him. Poor little squirrel.

Thanks for showing this sad lesson.


Hi Loot,

Some people didn't like that kind of photo's. But it's stil nature. It's good to show the rest of the world what we are doing as humanity. Anyway a great capture. Regards and TFS Bob

Thanks,happy to see someone giving a good shot about this drama, the eye of the photographer is never neutral!

Ai Loot - dit is net so hartseer!! Seker een van die nuuskurigste diertjies en baie op en wakker. Interesante notas dankie Loot

Hi Loot

Not many TrekNature members exhibit the image of a dead animal, or may be do not photograph a dead animal!?!



Dear Loot
What a pity that this cute little animal had to be killed first for us to enjoy the beauty of its striking features without having it run up and down or all over. It has such a lovely tailpiece and its fur is just as pretty. Thanks for showing us a piece of mankind's unthoughful behaviour by not watching where they are driving or just speeding for the sake of speeding. Both you and I have seen many examples of animals been killed by motorists not driving within the speed limit. The worse example was the tortoise that was knocked over by a car. How can anybody not see an animal that is passing the road on a very slow pace? Thanks for sharing. Lots of love.

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