Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Watch for wildlife in Vic north east

RACV statistics show north east Victoria one of the worst regions for wildlife-vehicle collisions.

LAURA HURLEY July 31, 2014 3:15am

Out and about: Poppy getting some exercise

RACV has released its list of roadkill ‘hotspots’ from 2013, and north-eastern Victoria has been described as one of the ‘‘worst areas for collisions with animals’’.

Gathered from insurance claims made last year, RACV received a total of 3641 kangaroo related claims from across the state.

RACV general manager of insurance Paul Northey said collision with animals happened at all hours, but dawn and dusk was when wildlife were particularly active.

‘‘Kangaroo related claims ... (cost) on average $3684. There were 245 claims for damage caused by collisions with dogs and 244 claims following impacts with wombats,’’ Mr Northey said.

In Moira Shire, 68 claims were made to RACV last year for collisions involving animals. Of these, 17 were made in Cobram and 10 were made in Barmah.

Mr Northey urged motorists to slow down when driving around bends or over crests that could obscure animals on the road.

‘‘You should also be cautious if there are warning signs advising of wildlife in the area, or if you see dead animals on the side of the road,’’ he said.

‘‘Colliding with an animal, whether it’s on a country highway or an urban road, not only puts you and your family at risk of serious injury, it can also prove very costly.

‘‘Adequate insurance coverage is important for the repair or replacement of your vehicle.’’

The impact on wildlife can be similarly devastating, with local wildlife shelters concerned that despite people’s best intentions, people who hit an animal can sometimes do more harm than good.

Two weeks ago the Courier met Poppy, an eastern grey joey who had been orphaned when her mother was struck by a car.

Kylee Donkers has been looking after the joey at Koonoomoo since she was rescued.

Ms Donkers said the joey was doing well, gaining more confidence and getting out and about with her adopted brothers and sisters.

Ms Donkers urged people to remember wildlife were not pets, and if they do hit an animal, to call the appropriate authorities.

‘‘People forget that they are not pets, and they are wild animals.

‘‘And no matter how domesticated they become, they still have that wild instinct.’’

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