Road toll real for our wildlife
AS THE number of dead animals littering our roads increases, so does the danger to drivers.
Lern-Ezy Driving School owner Bryan Vickie said drivers should constantly be on the alert for wildlife.
“I am always searching the side of the road for those eyes,” Mr Vickie said.
“Especially early in the morning and at dusk. If you have a passenger, get them to keep a look-out as well.”
Mr Vickie said it was important never to swerve or brake hard to avoid an animal.
“Take your foot off the accelerator and keep the car straight if you are going to hit something,” he said.
“Braking can cause you to lose control and will bring the nose of the car down and the animal could come right over your bonnet.”
Mr Vickie said the best way to avoid animals was to slow down, keep on the alert and break softly if you have time.
Wildlife carer Christine Wynne said drivers should always watch out for animals.
“Animals like kangaroos and possums are very unpredictable so if you see one, slow down,” she said.
“Obviously from a safety point of view, people should never put themselves at risk to avoid an animal.”
But Mrs Wynne said drivers who hit an animal should always stop and pull dead animals off the road.
“A lot of the time kangaroos will have a joey in their pouch, which is left to die if their mum has been hit,” she said.
“If an animal is still alive, either take it to a vet or call a wildlife carer to come and help.”
Mrs Wynne warned drivers not to rip a joey from its mother’s teat.
“This can injure or kill the joey,” she said.
Barolin veterinary clinic nurse Teneil Smale said injured wildlife could be taken to the clinic and would receive free care.
“We can get up to five or six animals a day which have been hit by cars,” Mrs Smale said.
“Cars aren’t very forgiving.”
Mrs Smale said as few as half the animals brought-in survive.
“It is really devastating, but it’s better than nothing,” she said.
“Most animals are suffering from shock so they need to see a vet as soon as possible.”To avoid wildlife accidents...
- Keep alert for animals on the side of the road. Always scan the bushes for wildlife.
- Reduce speed in common wildlife areas.
- Take extra care at dawn, dusk and night.
- Break slowly instead of slamming the breaks on.