A Canberra woman who was struck by a car while removing a dead kangaroo from the road has sparked warnings from park rangers about what to do when you hit an animal.
During peak-hour yesterday evening a woman hit a kangaroo with her car on the Monaro Highway in Canberra’s south.
The ACT Emergency Services Agency’s Cameron Beresford said the woman then pulled over and got out of her car to move the animal off the road.
But he said while doing so, she was hit by a car.
Mr Beresford said the woman was taken to Canberra Hospital in a stable condition, but reminded people they were “the most important thing on the road”.
“It’s a good reminder that if you do hit wildlife when you’re driving, don’t put yourself in danger,” he told ABC Radio Canberra.
“Don’t try to move it off the road yourself, call city services and they’ll do it for you.”
ACT Parks and Conservation director Daniel Iglesias said it was a fact that south-east New South Wales had some of the country’s “highest recorded densities” of eastern grey kangaroos.
“Major insurers such as NRMA and AAMI have statistics on the number of incidents where vehicle collisions with kangaroos have been reported to them and it is quite high,” he said.
“We also know from police that the area around Goulburn, Yass, Canberra and Cooma is actually quite a hotspot.”
And Mr Iglesias said within the ACT there were “a dozen sites of particular risk for kangaroos”.
He went on to list almost every major arterial road in Canberra.
“I’m speaking about the Monaro Highway, the Barton Highway, Caswell Drive, sections of the Tuggeranong Parkway, Gungahlin Drive and sections of the Federal Highway,” he said.
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But Mr Iglesias said while there was no “standard response” when encountering a kangaroo on the road — because there were so many differing factors — his best advice was to “slow down and be vigilant”.
“Whilst kangaroos have some degree of road sense, when we are out driving, especially early in the morning and late afternoon, that is the time when kangaroos are out looking for food,” he said.
“It also happens to be the time we’re driving to and from work, so we’ve got this coming together of risk factors.”
And he urged people to remember to put their own safety first.
“An injured animal is not a pretty sight at all and it can be very distressing, but our first consideration has to be to keep ourselves and others safe,” Mr Iglesias said.
Mr Iglesias said people should also be careful when tending to an injured animal.
“These animals are in a lot of distress, they’ve just suffered substantial trauma and they will often mistake your actions as a further attack,” he said.
Mr Iglesias said the ACT Government runs a 24-hour service via Access Canberra on 13 2281 that will connect people to a park ranger, who can then remove the animal from the road, often within half an hour.
“Our rangers are trained, they have equipment that means it can be done safely,” he said.
“Other times when the kangaroo is on a very busy road, our rangers will have to wait until they deem it safe.”
Canberra’s controversial annual kangaroo cull is currently underway, aiming to reduce the population in the ACT’s nature reserves by 3,253 animals.