You’re cruising along a regional road when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a kangaroo bounds in front of your vehicle. Despite braking, you hit the kangaroo. Although this is an awful scenario, it’s unfortunately not an uncommon one. Millions of Australian animals are killed on our roads each year, with kangaroos being the most commonly involved in car accidents. In the shock following an accident with an animal, you may be unsure of what to do next. We’ve put together some important information to assist you if you’re ever in this unfortunate situation.
What Should I Do If I’ve Hit A Kangaroo Or Another Wild Animal?
Stop If It’s Safe To Do So
If you’ve had a car accident with a kangaroo, or any other type of wild animal, you should find a safe place to pull over and park. Remember to put on your hazard lights when you stop, especially if you’ve pulled to the side of the road. If it’s not immediately safe to stop, wait until it is. Make sure that you and your passengers are unharmed before attending to the animal. In the event that it’s not safe for you to stop, it’s best to call your local wildlife rescue and report the incident as soon as it’s safe for you to do so. Provide details of the location so that they can send someone out to check if the animal has survived.
Call Your Local Wildlife Rescue
Each state has their own local wildlife rescue to provide advice and, in some scenarios, send trained volunteers to come out and assist with injured wildlife. By providing accurate, detailed information about your situation and location, wildlife rescuers are better able to assist you. Make sure you follow their advice and remember to prioritise your own safety.
Assess The Situation Before Approaching The Animal
If your local wildlife rescue requires more information about the injured animal, they may ask you to approach it. An injured animal is likely to be feeling extreme stress and fear. Bigger animals, like kangaroos, may cause you injury if you approach them and make them feel threatened. If it’s safe to approach the animal, make sure you’re not in danger of being hit by traffic on the road. If it’s unsafe to approach the animal, rather wait for your local wildlife rescue to arrive. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t approach or handle dangerous species like snakes, large kangaroos, bats etc. and should rather wait for a trained rescuer to arrive.
Keep The Animal Safe and Calm
Depending on the advice of your local wildlife rescue and if the injured animal is in the road but doesn’t appear dangerous or aggressive, approach is calmly and move it to a safe location. Always prioritise your own safety in this situation. If you have a towel or blanket available in your vehicle, use it to cover the animal until help arrives. Remember not to offer the animal any food and not to pour water from a drink bottle directly into its mouth. You can place clean water into a shallow container if the animal is thirsty and needs to drink.
Wait with the animal until help arrives if the wildlife rescue is sending someone out to you. If the animal is injured and your local wildlife rescue advises you to do so, you can transport the animal to the nearest vet. Most vets won’t charge any fees for treating native wildlife.
What If The Kangaroo or Animal I Hit Didn’t Survive?
Check The Pouch If You’ve Hit A Marsupial
If the kangaroo or other animal involved in the car crash didn’t survive, you should still call your local wildlife rescue to report that an animal has been hit on the road. In the case of a kangaroo or another marsupial, your local wildlife rescue may advise you to check the pouch to see if there’s a joey inside. You should also check the surrounding area to make sure the joey hasn’t been thrown from the pouch. If the joey is not attached to the mother’s teat, carefully remove it, and keep it in a warm and quiet place until you can hand it over to a rescuer. Avoid handling the joey as much as possible. In the case that the joey is attached to the mother’s teat, don’t attempt to remove it. Rather wait for the wildlife organisation to send someone to assist you.
Remove The Animal From The Road
If the animal is in the road, you should move it to the side of the road so that it doesn’t become a hazard to other road users. By moving it out of the road, you will also prevent other species that feed on animal carcasses from being endangered on the road. Keep in mind that a large kangaroo may be very heavy, so assess the situation and risks before attempting to move the animal.
Can Right2Drive Assist Me If I’ve Hit A Kangaroo Or A Wild Animal?
We provide accident replacement vehicles to not at fault drivers who have been in a collision involving a vehicle owned or operated by another insured party. In the case of a collision with a wild animal, we recommend reaching out to your insurer. You may also find our tips on how to avoid collisions with kangaroos and other wild animals helpful for the future.