Horrifying tale leads to action for our wildlife
WILDLIFE carer Trish LeeHong felt her blood boil a bit as she heard a would-be rescuer's tale of horror on Murphys Creek Rd.
The kind-hearted construction worker noticed a koala that had been hit by a car in a relatively open stretch of the road with good visibility.
He turned his ute around, put on the flashing lights, donned his high visibility vest and went to help.
But as he approached, a car travelling the other way mowed it down, killing it and a small joey it was carrying.
The distraught man called Ms LeeHong with the terrible tale, stating his utter disbelief that they couldn't see or go around the injured animal, which was only 40cm off the fog line, leaving plenty of room to safely manoeuvre around it.
It spurred Ms LeeHong to do something about the increasing issue of wildlife deaths on our region's roads.
She approached Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan in the hopes that signs could be put up to warn drivers of the fast-changing wildlife crossings.
Ms LeeHong said the increase in urban activity and construction in the burgeoning region stripped many native animals of their traditional crossing places and concentrated them in ever-smaller areas.
As a result, areas where there was previously a small bit of roadkill can now feature four or five dead wallabies in a single night.
She said there could be anywhere up to 120 animals at her Murphys Creek refuge at any given time and two-thirds were there thanks to being hit by traffic.
"I've got 15 wallabies and kangaroos at the moment, and two of them came from other carers due to illness, but the rest are all here because of the road and most of them are from the local region," she said.
"Because of the change in season we do see more in winter because people travel to work in the dark.
"But at the moment we're also seeing an increase because there is a lot more urban infrastructure.
"People think big projects like the Range and the Second Range Crossing are the problem, but housing developments are just as bad for forcing them from their traditional routes into other areas."
She said people could help by being more aware of wildlife while driving and to pay attention to the new signs when they go up.