The two kangaroos sit bewildered, gazing through the gap in the chain fence at a bulldozer spewing ear splitting noise and foul diesel smoke as it continues to push broken earth around on what was until a day or so ago, a pristine untouched field of trees and grass that the kangaroos and their family had lived on for generations. Now not a tree nor a clear blade of grass remains.
This is what the sanitised term “collateral damage” means in this ongoing battle being waged on nature by humans. The saddest thing though is that the humans are largely ignorant of the effects of their behaviour on these poor kangaroos for a start, let alone the myriad of other insects and animals that may have shared this field with them. In the planning meeting or meetings that arrived at the decision to tear up all the trees in this field and prepare the ground for the building that will replace this open ground, was even one second given to the effect on the other beings that will by necessity be evicted. This field that has provided food and shelter for generations of kangaroos like these. I wasn’t at any of these meetings but I am fairly certain that the answer would be none, not one second of consideration. The worst part of this one-sided war is the lack of respect or regard for the effect of the war that is accorded nature. It is just a continual blast through at all costs and be damned to the consequences.
This field was part of what I understand was a “green belt” reserved for nature and its inhabitants that was defined as running in a wide swathe for a number of kilometres and constituting a reserve through a number of suburbs. Of course money talks and the good intentions have been overtaken by more and more chipping away of the reserve for the building of warehouses and the like. But did anyone think that a troop of kangaroos use this field on a regular basis or was any thought given to assisting them to relocate? No is the resounding answer, where is the money in that?
This is just one more small battle in this war which will continue to the inevitable end which is quite possibly the extinction and destruction of everything natural in this once beautiful world. To understand this better I highly recommend everyone read the Pulitzer Prize winning book called “The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert. “Five watershed events in the deep past decimated life on earth, hence the designation “Sixth Extinction” for today’s human-propelled crisis.”
We may still be lifetimes away from extinction but for these two forlorn kangaroos part of their world has now disappeared forever and no more can they rest in the shade of the trees that once stood here nor feed on the grasses that covered the earth. No more, sadly, no more.
P.S. One of my neighbours posted on Facebook recently this very evocative image at top which was taken from the rear of her property and I was so moved by it I had to make some attempt to flesh it out with words.
P.P.S Here is a picture of the (distant) kangaroos in their habitat as it was earlier, taken at the time of my earlier post on seeing kangaroos in this same field: Meeting The Locals. None of these trees exist any more.
Even more…. Another of my neighbours has prepared a video of before and after scenes from his back yard set to his own music see https://youtu.be/v7OjRD6sM0Y . Well done Ray!