Wildlife worriers

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Grey nomads worry about Australian roadkill
"Stop the car, Tommy! I want to go home!"

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,
We are midway through the Big Lap and have spent the last three weeks driving through the Outback. What an incredible country we live in. However, my wife Jen and I have encountered a distressing problem that has made Jen in particular want to leave the Outback and head for more urban terrain. Over the past couple of weeks we have struck a wallaby, nar­rowly missed a kangaroo and squashed a snake. While we always try to avoid driving at dusk, sometimes it’s unavoidable and no matter how slow you go, the animals are impossible to avoid. We’ve also seen a heap of roadkill and, being avid animal lovers, we are struggling to cope. It’s casting a shadow over the trip. What should we do?

Oh my. I remember my first visit to the Outback and will never forget how surprised I was at the number of dead kangaroos and wallabies I saw by the roadside. I too found it upsetting. But it’s amazing how used to it you become after a relatively short while. It’s never a pleasant sight of course but, as harsh as it sounds, it is part and parcel of travelling in the Outback. What is helpful to remember is that when you hit a kangaroo, say at 60km an hour, chances are it will kill it outright. So it won’t have suf­fered. And bear in mind that wildlife in the Outback have a pretty amazing life, free to hop around to their hearts’ content. It’s a shame some will get killed by passing vehicles … but please just drive carefully and don’t miss out on the Outback.

Guys, guys, guys. For goodness sake, just get over it. You sim­ply cannot leave the Outback because one or two mangy old roos may bite the dust. Yes, I know the roo is a national symbol and it’s bordering on heresy to say this, but come on, there’s gazillions of these things bouncing all over the place. So one or two bounce off your 4WD? It happens. And what you do you think you’ll see when you go urban? You’ll see possums dotted along the road­side. Roadkill is not just limited to rural areas, you know. And then what will you do … park the van and stay indoors? That way you won’t to see anything that upsets you. To miss the experience of a lifetime because you go all soppy when you see a few dead animals is ludicrous.


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