The front and back yards of Nirodha House in Largo, Florida, home of True Dharma Int’l, is an informal animal cemetery. The property holds the burials of unfortunate wildlife that frequently meet death on the roads that encroach on their natural habitats or in areas where they have taken up residence to exploit the bounty of human settlement. The yards were blessed by the collection of sacred remains (sarira) of the historic Buddha, his disciples, and other advanced spiritual teachers thanks to traveling Maitreya Project Heart Shrine Relic Tour guardians who visited Nirodha House in early November 2008. They were in the area for a fund-raising exhibition at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Clearwater that True Dharma Frank Tedesco sponsored. The graves are interspersed among fruit trees, pineapples, moringa and other crops that are allowed to grow organically without artificial fertilizers and minimum tilling, if at all.
The bountiful papaya fruit trees are all “volunteers” from seeds randomly dispersed by hand.
Loquat trees stand in the western easement along the street or in the northeast corner of the rear yard that borders a rainwater retention pond. Various species of turtle live in the pond as well as an occasional alligator or visiting river otter.
All kinds of migratory birds visit the pond, too, like mallard ducks, ibis, anhinga, pink spoonbills, even eagles. This eagle is devouring an innocent Cayuga duck for lunch in the rear rainwater retention pond. We rescued the duck from a dirty cage in a local flea market. At least she had a few weeks of life in a natural environment. Her brother was devoured by a river otter