For those who played childhood counting games in the car, it’s a pretty grim sort of Spotto nowadays, seeing so many animals struck down or dead on the highway.
Spring is doing its thing as we shake off winter’s hibernation, urging animals of all types to get on the wander for food, water, shelter and a mate.
Even the most cautious driver can’t always avoid a collision, but there’s a lot that can be done at an accident scene to assist animals with injuries or in death.
One of the leading organisations to offer help is Wildlife Rescue (WIRES).
The volunteer-run animal welfare group is networked right across the state, including here in the Southern Tablelands (telephone 4822 3888).
The rescue service operates 24 hours day, seven days a week and responds as quickly as possible to all calls for assistance with injured native animals.
Where they can’t reach a scene, they can advise on alternative ways to help.
Long-time animal rescue volunteers recommend motorists carry clean bottled water, a collapsible cardboard box and an old blanket or woollen.
All of these are useful when transporting injured animals to aid, especially the latter for joeys that depended on their mum for vital warmth.
Even when a grown animal appears to have been killed outright, rescuers recommend stopping to check for babies in the pouch or nearby area.
Marking the dead adult by tying a short length of brightly coloured rope or a plastic bag on its legs will tell other rescuers this check has been done.
Yass Valley Council crews remove dead animals on Burley Griffin Way, Lachlan Valley Way and local roads; Roads and Maritime Services, the Barton and Hume highways.
The council relies on residents to report all dead animals, especially ones on roads that could cause an accident, and will direct the call to the right area to manage it.
Telephone 6226 1477 or go online to yassvalley.nsw.gov.au/customer-service-request
The Yass Valley Council ranger is only called in when a companion animal has been struck and killed, so they can scan for a microchip and (sadly) inform the owners.
And, if you see a driver pull over after hitting an animal, it’s also a kind idea to stop and check if they’re OK, too. Be a mate.