Navigating the roads in Australia poses numerous hazards, with one of the most perilous situations for both car owners and truck operators being the inadvertent collisions with kangaroos. So, what should we do if we accidentally hit a kangaroo on the road? We interviewed Lisa Rose, founder of Lisa’s Kangaroo Retreat in Port Hedland and here is what she had to say:
1. Pull over when it is safe to do so. It is important to take the kangaroo off the road as far as possible as other wildlife will feed off a carcass, potentially causing further accidents.
2. If you have gloves in your car put them on. Pull the kangaroo to the side of the road by the tail. The tail will never break off as it is the strongest part of the kangaroo.
3. If the dead kangaroo is a female, check her pouch for any signs of life. If there is a joey and he is NOT attached to the teat, tie a knot in the bottom of a T-Shirt/ blanket to create a pouch shape, and gently remove and place him inside.
4. If the mother is dead and the joey is attached to the teat, as gruesome as it sounds, cut the teat off (as close to the mother’s chest as possible). Joeys are fused to their mother’s teat, so if removed by force, the joey will suffer a horrific death. Leave the teat in the joey’s mouth. You may also have to cut the pouch open.
5. Wrap the joey up so he remains warm- inside your shirt if possible.
6. Ring the Wildcare Hotline who will tell you where to take the joey. They can be reached on 94749055.
“If something can survive being hit at 110 kmph in a pouch, it deserves a second chance- you are its second chance.”
- Feed the joey with sugared water/ or an energy drink. Use a spoon, or a latex glove with a hole pierced in the finger makes a perfect teat.
- Do NOT feed joeys cows milk, they are lactose intolerant and can die.
- If the kangaroo is so severely injured and beyond saving, sadly either a shot to the head or rock to the head is the kindest way to put her out of her misery.
- If the joey isn’t in the pouch, he won’t be far away. Wait to see if you can hear him. Approach calmly and keep low to not frighten him.
- A joey can live for up to five days in the deceased mother’s pouch. If you find a dead kangaroo it is worth looking in their pouch. Even if the joey has been pecked by crows or looks lifeless, he might still be able to be rescued.
“If a joey can live its last hours being loved, it’s worth it.”
Lisa’s Kangaroo Retreat rescues, rehabilitates and releases wildlife, including injured and orphaned joeys, kangaroos, wallabies, possums and other animals. Field trips to the retreat are fun, educational and heart-warming. Interacting with and supporting animals in need is a great experience for all the family, and a great opportunity for kids of all ages.
KEE continues to support Australian wildlife, please drive carefully for the sake of our WA kangaroos.