RESCUED ROO: Warwick wildlife carer Molly Haywood and Lily Hughes have been taking care of 6-month-old
RESCUED ROO: Warwick wildlife carer Molly Haywood and Lily Hughes have been taking care of 6-month-old "treasure", a tiny joey kangaroo who was rescued near Warwick. Marian Faa

ROADKILL: Human suffering behind spike in animal collisions

THE drought is having a profound effect on the Southern Downs and may also be to blame for a spike in the number of animals being hit and killed on the region's roads.

Granite Belt Wildlife Carers member Molly Haywood, who has the unenviable job of euthanising seriously injured animals, said the situation had become severe.

"I cry more days than I don't," she said.

With paddocks and bush running out of food, starving kangaroos and other wildlife are venturing closer to the roads in search of fresh grass.

Ms Haywood said the run-off of condensation promoted grass growth when roadsides grass was slashed.

 

Little
Little "treasure” is safe and sound in Lily Hughes' arms. Marian Faa

In the space of a week, Ms Haywood was called to euthanise more kangaroos than she usually would in an entire month.

For Ms Hayward, this is the dark side of being one of the few wildlife rescuers in the region, especially when drought become severe.

"Yeah it impacts me," she said.

"I never killed willingly until we became wildlife carers and it was a tough turn.

"But you know they are lying there in so much horrendous pain and basically slowly dehydrating or staving to death you know it is the right thing to do.

"So you suck it up, but you bawl all the way home."

 

SMASH: Joshua Robertson from Warwick smash repairs has notices an increase in the number of roo-damaged cars in Warwick as a result of the drought.
SMASH: Joshua Robertson from Warwick smash repairs has notices an increase in the number of roo-damaged cars in Warwick as a result of the drought. Marian Faa

A review of 9000 insurance claims revealed Warwick one of the most likely places to have an animal collision in the state.

Insurance company AAMI said kangaroos accounted for 81 per cent of collisions, while five per cent were wallabies and four per cent were dogs.

Warwick panel beater Joshua Robertson is seeing a different side of the increase in collisions.

He and his team at Mirror Finish Smash Repairs are working "around the clock" to cope with the number of damaged cars.

"You only have to drive along the road and see a lot more roadkill," he said.

The most common types of damage were bonnet crunch-ins, radiator damage and door or guard replacements,according to Mr Robertson.

He said the average cost of animal damage was between $2500 and $7000 and worse damage resulted when drivers swerved to miss the animal.

 

If you find a joey on the side of the road or in a mother's pouch, please call your local vet or wildlife carer.
If you find a joey on the side of the road or in a mother's pouch, please call your local vet or wildlife carer. Marian Faa

But there is more at stake than your insurance excess according to Ms Haywood.

"I know people think they are just a roo, and a pest, but at the end of the day it's a life and they are suffering," she said.

She was shocked by the number of people who didn't stop and check when they hit a kangaroo.

According to Ms Haywood, 90 per cent of kangaroos didn't die on impact.

"An awful lot of them will stay alive on the side of the road until nature takes its course," she said.

Ms Haywood and other volunteers from the Granite Belt Wildlife Carers are begging drivers to be more vigilant on the roads.

If you find an injured animal contact a local vet, RSPCA or Molly Haywood on 4661 3337 and 0438 611 343, Leonie on 0408 314 469 or Granite Belt Wildlife on 0418 144 073.



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