Watch out for wildlife during Christmas travels

HOLIDAY REMINDER: Wildlife rescue groups have reminded people to be wary of wildlife while on the roads during the holiday season. Photo: supplied.

HOLIDAY REMINDER: Wildlife rescue groups have reminded people to be wary of wildlife while on the roads during the holiday season. Photo: supplied.

The Christmas period brings increased traffic with it.

Increased traffic often means more road kill and injured animals. 

South Coast Wildlife Rescue volunteers have asked road-users to be wary of wildlife while on the roads.

“I know people can’t avoid driving at night but if we can slow down a little bit it could prevent animals being injured,” South Coast Wildlife Rescue micropod coordinator Kerstin Schweth said. 

While hitting an animal can sometimes be unavoidable, Ms Schweth asked drivers to always check on the health of the animal after the accident. 

“If the animals are injured it is best to contact us immediately and we can aim to save and rehabilitate it,” she said. 

“With marsupials we urge that the pouch is always checked, if the mother dies that baby could still be alive and we can look after and re-home it.”

Ms Schweth said there are circumstances where people took the baby joeys home after being found alive in their mothers’ pouches. 

“We really urge people not to do this, because they can become problematic or sick,” she said.

Ms Schweth said pinkies (newborn- furless baby marsupials) especially needed to be cared for by wildlife volunteers. 

After being taken from their dead mothers’ pouches, pinkies need expert level care. 

“When they come to us we need to give them glucose every three hours for energy and we need to keep them under artificial light to keep them warm.” 

Ms Schweth reminded the community to contact WIRES or South Coast Wildlife Rescue as soon as they saw an injured or displaced animal, and if possible, stay with animal while waiting for assistance. 

“If you can’t stay with the animal, mark a tree or landmark near it because we can search up to 50 metres [from the mark] for the animal this way,” she said. 

“We need people to be as precise as possible when they call us about an injured animal, street names, numbers and landmarks are very helpful.”

South Coast Wildlife has a 24/7 answering service on 0418 427 214, WIRES Wingecarribee can be contacted at 4862 1788 or 1300 094 737.