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SLOW DOWN, you move too fast

Winter time more wildlife – kangaroos, wombats on the verges

From Wildcare Queanbeyan

Those of us who drive in rural areas know only too well that winter has arrived – not because it’s getting colder, but because we are seeing many more kangaroos, wombats and other animals on the roads. Daylight saving has an impact and inevitably more of us are driving to and from work at dawn and dusk.

This is a time when the risk of seeing animals on the verges and crossing over is a lot higher. As has been said before, there is only one way to increase one’s reaction time. To reduce the risk of hitting a kangaroo or a wombat on the road it is vital to slow down – often well below the speed limit, and be much more vigilant in wildlife rich areas.

In spring it’s baby birds that test the resources of Wildcare, but in winter it is the influx of injured and orphaned kangaroos that increase the level of activity. There are many more motor vehicle accidents involving kangaroos at this time of the year and sadly, many injured animals (not all) have to be euthanised.

Kangaroos that have not been severely injured can be recovered and certainly most orphaned pouch joeys can be rescued and rehabilitated. Wildcare has good success in raising orphaned animals and releasing them back into the wild.

If you are involved in an accident with a roo, or any other animal for that matter, please stop and assess the situation. Your safety is paramount, but often you can warn other motorists and get in touch with Wildcare. If you have to leave the scene, then it is useful for the Wildcare rescuer to know exactly where an animal can be found – this might mean leaving a marker on the verge or on a fenceline.

Wildcare (and Possumwood Sanctuary) volunteers spread thin across huge area

End of year charitable donations?

Some people think that Wildcare is a professional outfit with paid staff and well-funded facilities, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is a community-based volunteer organisation that has about 250 members spread over a huge area of NSW.

There are no paid staff, and as with many volunteer community groups, money to pay for veterinary fees, telephone, food, housing and rescue & rehabilitation equipment, all comes from fundraising, as well as the pockets of dedicated rehabbers.

Fortunately, for anyone who wants to help, Wildcare has ‘charity status’, so tax deductable donations can be made. If you would like to support Wildcare, with an end of the financial year donation, just visit their website (www.wildcare.com.au).

Contact Wildcare on their 24/7 helpline – 6299 1966.

By Phil Machin

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