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Skunk or speed trap

Lingering roadkill causes speculation

Luke Holsonbake, photographer, Humans of Hays producer, Legacy style editor

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courtesy Flickr
A skunk much like this one lays on the side of the road in front of Live Oak Academy

Every day for the past six weeks I’ve driven past a dead skunk. It’s located in front of Hays right across from Barton MS and Live Oak Academy. At first, I thought nothing of it because after all roadkill happens all the time in Texas. In fact, two of my family’s cars have been totaled by deer, after which the deer proceeded to get up and walk away. Anyway, my point is something like this isn’t out of the ordinary. However, what is out of the ordinary is the amount of time that skunk has been sitting on the side of the road for weeks.

I remember the first day I encountered the dead skunk on the side of the road, I accidentally ran it over. Feeling grossed out I hoped animal control, or some vulture, would come along and get rid of it. To my surprise three weeks later the same skunk is still on the side of the road, and I’m reminded I ran it over every time I pass. Over six weeks is a very long time and it caused me to raise quite a few questions in my head.
At one point I was convinced the skunk was placed by Hays High School to catch and report speeding kids.

However, I figured this was not possible because the school has no jurisdiction off campus, however, the government does…. These thoughts quickly flooded my mind, and I assumed the government would soon show up to my doorway to take me away for destroying expensive undercover equipment. Another three weeks passed by, and still, nothing had happened.

I figured I was in the clear, however, this still left me with one question. Why in the heck was the skunk still there when it’s visible on a busy street? A cursory Google search shows that Hays County animal control would be who to call for clean-up. And science sites show that skunks mate during February and March– so this skunk got an early start if this was the case.

Left without answers I decided to ask others.

Nic Bawa, 12, said he believes “the government put it there so kids would slow down on their way to school.”
Meanwhile Daniel Valenzuela-Alvarado, 10, said “It smells very nasty, like dirty gym socks. It makes my car smell. There’s no way it can be fake.”
With conflicting views on the skunk, there’s one thing everyone can agree on– they want it gone.
It’s still a mystery to me why the skunk is still located on the side of the road, however, there’s nothing much we can do but wait for mother nature to run her course, and for this roadside attraction slowly dissolves into the asphalt.
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Skunk or speed trap