Anandan McEwen, Mullumbimby
Recently I was driving along Coolamon Scenic Drive, and I saw and animal that’d been hit on the road. I couldn’t tell whether it was still alive or if it had gone to earth and sky.
Either way, it is a wildlife rescuer’s duty to immediately pull over and check. If it is still alive then, depending on the severity of injury, the animal could potentially be rescued, healed and rehabilitated. So I pulled over and started walking towards the poor thing; in this case it was a mother bandicoot. Then, suddenly, a car comes zooming along and runs over the already injured bandicoot right in my face.
There were no other cars coming the other way, and they could see it, and me, from a mile off, as it was on a straight stretch of the road.
Whoever it was didn’t even bother to simply drive slightly to the side. It was heart-wrenching. I felt both hurt and angered. The cruel dimwit.
I walked up to it and it wasn’t a pleasant sight. Blood everywhere. I felt the body and it was warm; it had only just died.
Sigh. I tell this story to illustrate a point. If you see an animal on the road, don’t assume it’s already dead and drive over it, as it well may be still alive.
If you can home in on your compassion, and can spare even just one minute in your busy lives, please pull over, check the animal, and if it’s still alive then call WIRES or Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers immediately.
And if you can’t bring yourself to do that, then the least you can do is not to run over it again. If you saw a human lying sprawled on the road, and couldn’t tell if it were dead or alive, would you stop and pull over?
Or would you assume it’s dead and run over the person? I find it sad and narcissistic that in our anthropocentric society people value human life far beyond that of other species.
To call the 24-hour Wildlife Rescue Hotlines: WIRES, 1300 094 737; Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers, 6628 1866.