Preserving a precious piece of Australia

Koalas are cute, cuddly, Aussie icons and it’s our patriotic duty to help protect them.

The best way most of us can do that is to take more care on our roads.

As reported in The Northern Daily Leader, there’s been a spate of hit-and-runs involving our furry friends recently, with three dead animals found on roads near Gunnedah.

“Koalas are most active early in the morning and late afternoons but they are also on the move at the moment as it is breeding season,” North West Local Land Services officer Angela Baker said.

“With the weather heating up, they may also be out and about looking for water.”

Motorists are being urged to drive with more caution, particularly in areas where koalas are known to live.

And koalas are more resilient than one might think.

According to Gunnedah WIRES volunteerMartine Moran, it’s rare to find a dead koala on the road because they often survive a close encounter with a vehicle.

It’s really important, therefore, to stop and check on them if you do hit one while driving. Just this week WIRES has taken in a koala struck by a vehicle and is nursing it back (hopefully) to full health.

And if it’s not safe to stop and check the koala, call WIRES on1300 131 554 and they’ll come and help.

Koalas aren’t the only hazards on the roads, of course. Kangaroos are a common danger, and are larger and can cause serious damage to vehicles and the people travelling in them.

But if motorists are alert to the dangers of smaller, harder-to-see animals like koalas, the chances of an unpleasant encounter with something even larger are also greatly diminished.

And if you are unlucky enough to hit a precious koala, just remember that there are lots of people likeMartine Moran there to help.

Give them a call, and help preserve a precious piece of Australia’s national identity.

ClarificationThe editorial in Thursday’s Leader suggested the Gunnedah Liquor Accord had followed the lead of the Tamworth Liquor Accord in banning underage drinkers until their 19th birthday. The editorial should have said they followed the lead of the Tamworth Entertainment Precinct, not the Tamworth Liquor Accord.

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