This morning I noticed a dead animal lying on the road outside our place, on closer inspection it was to see a baby wallaby struggling to get out of the pouch. The dog was quickly restrained and we went in for a closer inspection. Mum was long gone and cold, and the wee fellow, while he had his eyes open was completely hairless, this is not a good sign. Still, we weren't going to give up on him and a few phone calls later we'd found someone living 10km away that we could take him too. First we had to get a knife and cut him out of the pouch and straight into Caleb's fur lined hat, then a dash off in the warm car with Caleb cradling him in the backseat. We had the chance for a long discussion around the amount of dead wildlife we see on the road in Tasmania. Since we've been in Tassie we've taken two wallabies, one with a broken leg and this little guy, plus an injured parrot and the bandicoot that got caught in chook wire through to animal hospitals, parks and wildlife and carers. We know that people around here see anything on the road as fair game ... a game of seeing if you can run it over... whether you're a fair shot with your front wheels. It's infuriating to hear about, to see and to be able to do nothing. So when we dropped this fellow off we decided that we're going to become wildlife carers, all three of us. Caleb's wanted to do something like this for a while but thought he'd have to wait till he was an adult. But I don't see any reason we can't start now. So we'll be contacting Parks and Wildlife to see how we go about getting some training and a permit.
Here's the Tassie link - if anyone has any others they know of for Australia or elsewhere, please share. Looking after wildlife is one way to protect biodiversity and to try to alleviate, to some extend the wholesale massacre of native animals on our roads and highways. Tassie wildlife caring information
About 34,000 native animals are killed on Australian roads every day.15 Multiply this by 365 days of the year – and you get a very large number in the millions! Their pouch young often die slowly from the cold or starvation if they survive the initial collision.
Dr Daniel Ramp, Road Ecology Research Group, University of New South Wales, personal comment.