WIRES warns drivers to be wary of roadside roos
A WILDLIFE carer tasked with shooting severely injured animals has called on drivers to be more careful when driving in areas where kangaroos are plentiful.
Lower Clarence WIRES operator Dick Richards, who is licensed to euthanase injured animals by shooting them, said he had been called out to a number of cases around Maclean in recent weeks.
"These are animals who have been hit by cars and have had their legs smashed," he said.
"A couple had joeys. One was so small it was about as big as the top of your little finger. It had no chance."
Mr Richards said the kangaroos were vulnerable because they came to the edge of the road to nibble green shoots of grass.
"When they are surprised by a car they jump up in surprise and 50% of the time in front of the car," he said.
"Drivers need to slow down when the see kangaroos by the side of the road and use more care at the times of the day, around dusk and at night when kangaroos come out to feed."
WIRES macropod coordinator Sandy Webb said 14 kangaroos and wallabies were euthanised in February after they were hit by cars.
Local WIRES carers have 43 joeys in care and she estimates vehicles killed 95% of their mothers.
She said the spell of dry weather could be part of the problem as the dry paddocks forced kangaroos to the side of the road looking for green pick.
Ms Webb said there were local hotspots for kangaroo accidents.
"South Grafton in Bent St from around Bimble Ave, Rushforth Rd, Iluka Rd and Brooms Head Rd are the worst places," she said.
Mr Richards warned there were penalties for people who drove off after hitting a kangaroo with their car.
"If you hit a kangaroo you should check to see if it's alive or dead," he said.
"If it's alive you can ring WIRES and someone will come to deal with.
"You will not get into trouble with the police for hitting a kangaroo, but if you do nothing, you are liable."