For the past several weeks, drivers near Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville have been noticing odd things about some of the roadkill on the sides of the area’s highways.
Some of the dead possums and raccoons have been dressed in pet or human baby clothes and have had their claws painted with nail polish. The carcass of a deer has been adorned with gold paint.
The culprit is SIU-Edwardsville graduate art student Jessica May, 24, of West Lafayette, Ind.
In an interview with the Belleville News-Democrat, May said she is not an animal rights activist; she is just interested in seeing if people would give more thought to the animals if they were somehow given human attributes.
“I think this is my way of slowing down and paying homage to these animals,” she explained. “I don’t particularly find it offensive, but I understand why some people who don’t understand what I’m doing could find it that way.”
May, a 2006 graduate of Purdue University, said she takes precautions in dealing with the carcasses.
“I wear gloves,” she said. “I don’t know that I could touch it with my bare hands, because by the time I find them, they’re pretty far gone.