Highway's wildlife casualties

SPARE a thought, and some time, for our furry friends on the North Coast.

Wildlife advocates are concerned about the rising number of casualties lining the roadside on the Pacific Highway near Coffs Harbour.

The Wildlife Information and Rescue Service is struggling with the number of deaths and injuries to kangaroos and wallabies encountering roadworks between Sapphire and Woolgoolga.

Avocado Heights WIRES macropod carers Arlene and Phillip Hope have just released the first four of 16 young animals they have had in care, but have lost three of the last six joeys rescued after their mothers died on the road.

Arlene said WIRES calculated it cost about $2000 to rescue and raise each rescued kangaroo or wallaby, including the construction of pens, the costly special feeding formula, veterinary and worming treatments.

Rescued joeys which have escaped from their dead mother’s pouch and have been found wandering in the bush are often injured, dehydrated or infested with parasites.

“We are hopeful that the travelling public will slow down if they are made aware of the problems so this carnage will stop,” Arlene said.

“The little joeys are mainly at foot and when mum’s killed, they run scared and frightened.

“Pouch joeys die from impacts.

“In the last week it has been horrendous, with six joeys coming into our care from Pacific Highway road toll on the ’roos from here and Heritage Park.

“The mothers jump over the barriers onto the road then can’t get off the road.

“I know the roadwork has to be done, but WIRES is in desperate need of help financially to care for the joeys.”

Coffs Coast WIRES fundraising co-ordinator Nick Townsend said they were having a big fundraising push – a stall at Park Beach Plaza last week raised $1667.

WIRES volunteers will also have a fundraising barbecue at Bunnings on October 23 and will man an information stand at Centro Toormina on November 8.

Donations can be made at www. mnc.wires. org.au.

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