There is a dark side to nature that involves death and dying. Mostly it goes unseen by the causal observer, but on occasion it is revealed in all of its gruesomeness. In the following photographs we have a roadkill Raccoon, that either survived its injuries long enough to drag itself off of the pavement, or else was carried onto the grassy shoulder by a scavenger.

Roads are the single biggest danger faced by most urban wildlife. Animals who have evolved to deal with natural dangers are simply ill equipped to manage the threat posed by fast moving cars. Behaviors that are effective against predators just don’t work on our roads and highway.

But, nothing ever goes to waste in nature. Organic material begins to be reused and repurposed almost as immediately as it becomes available. The work of microbes and insects often goes unseen. The work of larger scavengers, such as this Black Vulture, is more frequently observed.

The vulture in these pictures appear to be an early arriver. More will come. Other scavengers such as Coyotes will partake as well. The Raccoon carcass will not last for long.

Photographs courtesy of Nisha Jackson.

Black Vulture - Raccoon Roadkill

Black Vulture - Raccoon Roadkill

Black Vulture - Raccoon Roadkill

Black Vulture - Raccoon Roadkill