Anita Trimarchi is caring for orphaned ringtail possums.
Anita Trimarchi is caring for orphaned ringtail possums. Warren Lynam

'It's traumatic': Coast woman does job no one else wants

IT'S a job no one wants to do and a sight most people ignore.

But one Coast woman puts her hand up for the grisly and heartbreaking chore every day.

Wilvos (Wildlife Volunteers Association) Sunshine Coast volunteer Anita Trimarchi stops every day to move dead animals off the road.

Ms Trimarchi said the job at times could be very "traumatising".

"Animals walk on the road and they get hit, most of the time it is an accident that can't be helped," she said.

"But what a lot of people don't do, and don't know to do, is when they hit an animal - call us at Wilvos."

Ms Trimarchi said an example of when a distressing situation could have been avoided was just last weekend.


Anita Trimarchi is caring for orphaned ringtail possums.
Anita Trimarchi is caring for orphaned ringtail possums. Warren Lynam

A motorist had hit a kangaroo and drove off, but the animal was still alive and unable to move with broken limbs.

"I got the call from a lady who saw the kangaroo, on the road on the way to Yandina - she said she saw the kangaroo drag itself off the road and into a nearby bush," she said.

"The lady was very distressed.

"My partner and I went out to look for the kangaroo but we couldn't find it for hours.

"When we did, we realised it had to be euthanised.

"It was really sad the person hadn't called it in, the situation could have been different."

But most heartbreaking was the baby joey hanging around its dead mother.

"People either think that if they hit an animal they will be in trouble or they have no idea that people like us volunteers even exist," she said.

"Accidents happen, and we are just here to make the road safe again and to ensure the animal, dead or alive, gets the best outcome.

"You don't even have to give a name when you call us, just tell us where it happened and we will sort it out."

Ms Trimarchi said another mistake motorists were making was when they did stop to check on the animal and found a baby in its pouch.

"The worst thing you can do it take the baby from the pouch because you can cause serious, irreparable damage to the baby," she said.


A little joey saved from the road.
A little joey saved from the road.

"If you think the animal you hit does have a baby, just see if you can feel it in there, and give us a call.

"But if you do hit an animal and you can safely lift it and wrap it in something - take it to a vet or take it home where it can be picked up.

"Never feed or give water to an injured animal before taking it to a vet, and if you do take it home, leave it somewhere cool, dry and dark so it can adjust to new surroundings."

The Wilvos can be reached on 24-hour hotline, 07 5441 6200.


If you come across a bat - dead or not - do not touch it. Some species can carry disease and dead bats will often be carrying live babies. If you see a dead or injured bat report it to Wilvos.

It's breeding season for birds so residents will see a lot of baby birds jumping around on the ground. This is a bird's way of teaching itself to fly, do not pick it up or take it away. It is likely its parents are watching from a tree nearby, if you move the baby you could be kidnapping it. Only intervene if the bird looks injured or is in danger from another animal.

Echidnas have pouches too - if you happen to hit one or see an injured echidna do no move it unless it is safe to do so. By moving an echidna, you could be hurting its baby.

Joeys will hang around their parents even if hit by a car. If you see a joey hanging around, hold out a towel, pillow case or something soft - it's sad but when they lose their parents they just want somewhere to hide.

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