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All for the sake of the wildlife

Monday, March 31, 2014

In December 2010, at the start of my environmental activism, I couldn’t tell a green turtle from a hawksbill turtle, or a manicou from an agouti, but I had a fairly good idea of right from wrong. I’d been hiking with a group of friends near Brasso Seco, high up in the peaks of the Northern Range. After a day communing with nature and losing ourselves along crystal-clear river trails, we brought in the evening with some drinks from the village rumshop. 


My eye caught an interesting sight: somebody else had been communing with nature too. A small pickup truck with an odd sight in the tray—a deer, perfectly cut in half lengthwise. I approached the truck to take a few pictures, and as I did so, a head popped out of the passenger seat. A man, I suppose in his 50s, who’d obviously been enjoying the rumshop experience as well, started to talk. I couldn’t make out what he was saying at first. “I beg your pardon?”


Again he spoke: “Do you want to see a pawi?” As I looked into the cab of the truck, I saw two curious things. One, behind the steering wheel, a boy, about 12, barely tall enough for his feet to reach the pedals. The other, an odd-looking, nearly ugly, bird—black, with a bright blue wattle under a whitish, blue-tinged face. I couldn’t make out what it was, maybe a cross between a chicken and a corbeau?