What to do if you hit a roo

A WIRES spokesman advises motorists who accidentally hit any animal, to please stop the car carefully and safely and check to see if the animal requires emergency assistance.

A WIRES spokesman advises motorists who accidentally hit any animal, to please stop the car carefully and safely and check to see if the animal requires emergency assistance.

With breeding season in full swing, motorists have been reminded about what to do if they hit a native animal on the road.

Angela Brown took to Facebook to encourage drivers to show compassion, stop and move an animal off the road if it had been hit and was injured or dead.

A driver hit a kangaroo close to Mount Hunter last week and did not move the injured animal off the road.

“Show some compassion for the animal,” she said. “It is a living breathing being, and not only that, someone else could have hit him and damaged their car.

“I stopped, he was screaming in pain. I moved him off the road and comforted him in the five minutes it took him to pass away.

“I’m not saying [the driver] should have caused an accident to miss hitting the kangaroo.

“But [the driver] could have stopped and moved the animal, called for help and made sure no one else could get hurt by hitting a dying animal in the middle of the road.”

Sue Micali also said she saw an echidna that had been hit and left by the side of the road at The Oaks the day before.

A NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service spokeswoman said the organisation urged all motorists to slow down and be careful when driving in areas known to be inhabited by wildlife.

“If you do accidentally hit any animal, please stop your car carefully and safely and check to see if the animal requires emergency assistance,” she said.

“If the animal is still in the path of oncoming traffic, and it is safe to do so, you could move it to the side of the road.

“It’s a good idea to carry a towel or blanket in your car to help with picking up any injured animals.

“Always approach any animal with care as injured animals will be very scared and may lash out.

“Dead animals can attract scavenger animals towards the road to feed, and increase the chances of more collisions.

“You can reduce this risk where it is safe to do so, by moving the dead animal even a few metres away from the road.”

Pindari was rescued and cared for by WIRES volunteers after his mother was killed in St Helens Park in 2012. He was successfully returned to the wild. PictureL Jeff de Pasquale

Pindari was rescued and cared for by WIRES volunteers after his mother was killed in St Helens Park in 2012. He was successfully returned to the wild. PictureL Jeff de Pasquale

The spokeswoman said koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, birds and small mammals were often the victims of car collisions.

“In the regions of south-west Sydney, Wingecarribee and Wollondilly, over the past 12 months, WIRES has responded to calls regarding 115 koalas,” she said.

“It is difficult to ascertain how many of these calls were related to incidents with motor vehicles but a conservative estimate would be 30-50 per cent.

“Around 22 per cent of the total died as a result of their injuries that we know of, but typically there are many that cannot be contained or disappear before they can be rescued.”

The spokeswoman reminded drivers to check the pouch of any dead animal for live young.

“If you do find a young animal in a pouch it will need to be kept warm and quiet until you can call WIRES or a nearby vet for help,” she said.

“Remember echidnas and wombats also may have pouch young and collisions can result in very young animals being 'thrown' from the pouch so it is important to check the surrounding area as well as the pouch.

“Very small pouch young who are still on the teat should not be removed before contacting WIRES for further advice and guidance.”

Motorists should contact WIRES immediately if they come across an injured animal.

“WIRES is able to respond to some rescue calls in person where we have trained rescuers in the area, but we can offer immediate advice by phone,” the spokeswoman said.

WIRES: 1300 094 737 or via www.wires.org.au/rescue/report-a-rescue or using the WIRES rescue app.

Sydney Wildlife (Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services) rescue line: 9412 4300 or www.sydneywildlife.org.au.

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