Friday, October 04, 2013

Road Kill

When I was driving at 100 km/h or 110 as we toured a couple of states, I was well aware of the danger to us and to animals should they step out onto the roadway in front of us. Dawn and dusk are the times when they most active. We didn't drive at such times. Although it was a close call with an echidna in the middle of the day, I avoided hitting it.

The count of dead kangaroos was extraordinary. Most of the cars would have have had significant damage. Our count was over 24. We stopped counting. One was marked with a big pink X, I would guess to indicate it had been checked for a young, a joey, in its pouch.

There were about five wombats. They can do a lot of damage to the undercarriage of a car.

Two magpies and one kookaburra.

One ring tail possum and one brush tail.

Two unidentifiable masses of blood and fur.

Animals and cars on roads don't mix at all well. What to do?

Nothing can be done. We won't stop driving and kangaroos won't stop jumping.

Some years ago I put the number of Victoria's Wild Life Rescue into my phone. If you hit an animal, then call them and tell them, especially if it might have a young in its pouch. Go on, put the appropriate number for wherever you live into your phone now.

And remember, when you write your will, most of these types of organisations have minimal overheads. In fact most of the picker uppers of injured road carnage put their own hands deeply into their own pockets. They are just caring and altruistic people.

For all the horrible human stories you hear, humans are not bad at looking after themselves. Many animals are helpless against the onslaught of humans.


10 comments:

  1. This really horrible to read ! We have a few deers and of course some dogs or cats, but not so much ! of course the country is so small and there besides deers and wild boars there is nothing. But there are signs everywhere. I would feel so bad if ever I would kill an animal !

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    1. Gattina, there are warning signs but we drive long distances on minor roads and it is just a hazard of driving here. I've hit a bird or two in the past and it is not a nice feeling.

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  2. I vividly remember touring around Tasmania and being astounded at the amount of roadkill. I hit a big dog once at 50kmph, that did enough damage. A kangaroo at high speed, I dread to think.

    I have a couple of friends who foster orphan or injured wildlife. They get no money for it, they do it out of the goodness of their hearts.

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    1. I had forgotten Tassie, Fen. Yes, heaps of road kill there. Good on your friends. They are what they do are so important.

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  3. When planning any trip I avoid ever travelling at dusk or in the night time on a rural road. If you must, then you just have to go slower to give the animals (and your car) a chance. I realise that is a hard adjustment to make, especially if you actually live in a rural area, and of course some trips will be unavoidable, but it is one of those changes of attitudes that needs to be made.

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    1. That's the way to do it Marcellous.

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  4. Years ago when traveling from Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, to Adelaide and Murray Bridge, we saw a few rabbits and lizards killed on the roads, but not many and nothing else either.

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    1. River, there must be a lot more animals in the forests and the farm land of NSW. I don't like to see lizards killed.

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  5. Gretel Killeen:
    "What's a marsupial, mum?"
    "A dead animal on the side of the road..."

    No. Not funny. Heartbreaking. Have been known to scream and unpleasantly spittle at people about loose dogs on suburban roads... "what can I do, he won't come when I call?..." Block the holes in your fence, or grow up, perhaps? Perhaps if you were more interesting he might not be so desperate to escape? Grrr.

    The absolute worst thing is hitting an animal which disappears off into a paddock before you can check how badly it is hurt. But as you say, we will keep driving.

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  6. FC, I don't know the Gretel Killeen thing.

    Father told me if it disappears into the undergrowth, it will be ok. If it dead on the road, it is dead.

    Sorry Dad, I don't believe you.

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