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Wild Kingdom photo

When I was a kid I used to watch Wild Kingdom every week in spite of the fact that I was mortified every time a predator caught and killed its prey.

As a child, I would yell out, “Why doesn’t the camera man do something??”

My parents would explain that nature was like that.

The lion ate the gazelle.

And when the lion died, his decaying body fed the vultures.

And what was left provided nutrients to the soil and the rich plant life that resulted, fed the gazelle.

“But it’s horrible,” I cried. “Why does it have to be like that?”


Many years have passed since I’ve watched Wild Kingdom…well on TV anyway.

It seems my street has become a Wild Kingdom kill zone.

Almost every morning when I open the drapes, magpies are brutally attacking squirrels. Coming at them from the air. Chasing them under cars, across the street and into trees.

But nothing could prepare me for what I would witness on Sunday

It was a lazy morning. I slept in until nine and spent the morning puttering around, cleaning this and that while listening to my favourite CDs.

It was a perfect day for that. It was raining outside with occasional lightning and thunder.

It was noon before I finally showered and got dressed. By this time, the sun made an appearance and the sky began to clear.

A perfect afternoon for a walk toward the Bow River, I thought.

I stepped out into the sunlight and walked the pathway to my street. Birds were happily chirping, as they seem to do after it rains.

Three pigeons congregated on the street to my right and I could hear a car approaching on my left.

I waited and stepped off the curb to cross the street as the car passed.

Halfway to the other side, I heard it.

A thud, a squirting, squashing sound.

A very disturbing sound.

Two pigeons took flight.

Feathers seemed to explode into the air.

One pigeon remained on the road.

Twisted. Broken. Dead. Killed by the passing car.

The driver didn’t seem to notice.

I stood in the middle of the road – traumatized – sick to my stomach and somewhat in shock while the magpies screamed their screeching delight, waiting for me to leave so they could feast.

I guess I still have a hard time with this aspect of nature.


On a lighter note, I walked to the river and captured these less disturbing photos to share with you. 


 Do you live in an urban setting? If so, do you also witness Wild Kingdom behavior on your street? And when you do, are you as squeamish about it as I am?