The lifeless head stared back at me from inside the trap.
I should have noticed the otter-like body hanging from down below as I approached.
I should have noticed it was an animal trap in the first place.
It looked like a mailbox in the middle of the forest, and I got too excited and opened it without thinking. This, even after reading multiple signs from the DOC warning us not to interfere with the traps.
Never once did I consider that it would be strange for a mailbox to exist in the middle of the forest where no one would be getting mail.
So, to the DoC, I apologise for getting too excited and lifting up the flap. Seeing some kind of animal’s dead face starting back at me has taught me to be more cautious in the future. If there is a video of my screams and running away, please upload it to YouTube and send me a link.
I started the day off hiking through the Puketi forest. The small, 1.5km was finished in about twenty minutes. The other two hikes from the huts are 19km round trip, and 21km one-way. They recommend two days for the 19km one, but I thought I might be able to do it in one. If not, I could always turn back when I got a little tired.
I made a mental note of different unique features I came across, just in case I got lost. Log you have to crawl over, dead-animal mailbox (indie band name?), roots in the shape of a pool, tree stump so black and smooth it looked like a hose. You know, the usual.
I came to a beautiful creek maybe 4km and got distracted. I took a quick nap and pressed on.
The path ahead split. There were arrows pointing in both directions, but no labels differentiating the paths. I prudently decided to just got back to the creek and relax, and a few hours later returned to the campground.
The forest itself was completely quiet. The four hours or so I was there I didn’t see another person. I briefly contemplated how long it would take someone to find me if an emergency came up, but quickly put the thought out of my mind. No reason to worry about that unless it happens.
What a good day.