Reminder to slow down for active wildlife this spring

This tiny, frightened Brushtail joey was found in its mum's pouch after she was recently hit and killed by a car on Redbank Rd, Stratford. Thanks to a passerby who checked the animal's pouch, the bub is now in the care of a wildlife shelter and will be released to live out her adult life in the wild.

WILDLIFE volunteers are urging Gippsland drivers to watch out and slow down for wildlife on roads as they become more mobile closer to spring.
Every year, thousands of native animals are killed or injured on Victorian roads, often leaving pouch babies orphaned and causing a safety concern for drivers and passengers.
Kangaroos and wallabies are most at risk on roads, but Wildlife Victoria has also warned drivers to watch out for wombats, birds, possums, lizards, tortoises and echidnas while driving.
Macropods (like kangaroos and wallabies) are most active at dawn and dusk, and the grass on the sides of the roads tends to be fresher from water run-off, making these favourable feeding areas.
A local wildlife carer said anyone finding an injured or dead animal on the road should check its pouch where safe to do so.
“Kangaroos and possums very often have babies in their pouches which will die unless they are rescued and taken to a wildlife carer or a vet,” she said.
“They can suffer for days before they pass away, so the sooner they are rescued the better their chances — there are phone operators at Wildlife Victoria who can talk rescuers through the process.”
Wildlife Victoria advises drivers should be aware of road stretches were they are likely to encounter wildlife, especially during dusk and dawn, and slow to avoid collisions.
Studies from the Centre for Automotive Safety Research conducted by the University of Adelaide have shown that a reduction in speed of just 10 per cent has the potential to reduce vehicle crashes by 20 per cent.
Motorists should drive to suit the conditions and at a speed that allows them to avoid potential collisions with animals.
Drivers who encounter injured wildlife should maintain a safe distance and park their car safely with hazard lights on before phoning Wildlife Victoria on 8400 7300.
Take note of the street address or nearby landmarks to guide rescuers to the animal quickly.
People can also download Wildlife Victoria’s Snap Send Solve app, and report wildlife emergencies from their smartphone.
Those who do accidentally hit and injure animals while driving should phone the rescue group’s volunteer emergency service.
Even if the animal appears okay and has hopped or moved away, it will be injured.