Drivers deliberately 'roadkill' animals - EWT

Cape Town – An Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) study has revealed that some drivers deliberately swerve to hit animals.

EWT project leader for the Wildlife and Roads Project, Wendy Collinson, says every year thousands of animals, including birds and reptiles are killed on South Africa’s roads due to vehicle collision with animals.

“We found that in areas where livestock farming is being carried out alongside predator populations, people would deliberately try to hit the animals,” Collinson told News24.

According to Collinson a landowner may have a “vendetta” against certain carnivores like Black-backed Jackal and Caracal, which are believed to be responsible for livestock killing.

The roadkill research was undertaken in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA) in Limpopo and a preliminary study using fake animals (e.g. chameleon) showed that two out of fifty drivers deliberately swerved to ‘squash’ the fake chameleon.

Out of 600 drivers surveyed, 5% admitted to deliberately killing animals on roads. Another explanation offered includes superstitious folklore within local communities.

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