Drivers urged to be extra careful after spate of roo crashes

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Police are urging drivers to slow down with a plethora of kangaroos spotted on local roads.

Kangaroos are being euthanised on a daily basis after colliding with cars right across the Penrith LGA.

WIRES (Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service) campaign manager, Kristie Harris, said kangaroos finding their way onto the road is a common issue at this time of year.

“Everyone thinks that animals are a lot quieter during cold months but due to shorter days in winter, it means we are driving more when those animals are most active,” she said.

“Our roads are designed for water to run off each side, which makes grass grow right next to it, now that we are in drought we’re definitely noticing that this is drawing them to the roads even more.”

At the beginning of winter, WIRES teamed up with AAMI Insurance to promote road safety around wild animals.

“The number one thing you can do is slow down, their behaviour can be quite unpredictable so swerving can often be the most dangerous option,” Ms Harris said.

“It’s critical for people to check the pouch as joeys can survive for several days in there, we get a lot of them in to our care facilities. It might be gross, but you can save an animal’s life.”

Nepean Local Area Command Detective Inspector, Grant Healey, said police have to euthanise injured kangaroos every day.

“Sometimes we have to do it two times a day, it’s not really our job and we’re definitely not enjoying it,” he said.

Ms Harris believes that as the area expands, encroaching more and more on the traditional habitat of kangaroos, there will be an increase in the frequency of these accidents.

“We aren’t always available so we call on the police and RSPCA to take care of the animals,” she said.

“When adult roos are in these accidents they have such severe injuries and due to their easily distressed nature they just don’t cope in care, unfortunately putting them down is the kindest option.”

WIRES urge drivers to be extra cautious and say everyone should keep their local wildlife group’s number saved in their phone.

Kangaroos have been spotted in a number of suburbs recently including Kingswood, Werrington, Ropes Crossing, Cranebrook, Mulgoa Rise and Penrith.

Nicola Barton is the Weekender’s general news journalist, incorporating political affairs and crime.

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