And no, I don’t mean the driving!
I’m talking about genuine wildlife seen up close and personal, right here in the big city.
2 days ago I was running in my local park, which is, admittedly, a bio-diversity park.
Over the years, I’ve had smashing sightings here of nilgai (blue bull), & I see jackal on nearly every run.
As for the birds – you can’t move for peacocks in the park, which is utterly wonderful.
But this was a very different sighting.
I spotted a small crowd of men, mainly park workers & 2 men out walking, and they showed me a porcupine that had been horribly caught in a trap, and was badly wounded.
I’ve seen quills once or twice over the years, but never seen this nocturnal creature is the flesh.
The dilemma was how to free him of a particularly vicious trap, which had razor sharp wire cutting into his flesh.
There isn’t a vet in the park.
There isn’t a tranquilising gun in the park office.
Eventually a quietly competent man rocked up on a motorbike and took charge. A pair of cutters – like the things you use to trim plants – was produced, as well as a big bag and a big stick.
Using the stick to try and keep the poor creature in place, and with the bag as a sort of shield, the man with the pliers knelt down and tried to cut away the pieces of wood and wire.
He managed to cut off quite a bit before the porcupine suddenly made a dash for it and literally tumbled down a ravine in his haste to get away.
The workers and the man who’d cut him free were reasonably sanguine that the creature would survive.
I do hope so, poor thing.
It was obviously fascinating to see a porcupine up close and personal, but I could’ve wished for less gruesome circumstances.
Just another example of man vs wildlife conflict, even in a supposedly safe haven like a bio diversity park.