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   Jun 21

Motorists beware: Kangaroos out in force

NOT ROAD SAVVY: Smash repairers are being kept busy with more kangaroos on Hunter roads.Hunter motorists are dicing with death when they take to the roads at dawn and dusk with an over abundance of kangaroos out in search of food.
Nanjing Night Net

Smash repair businesses are experiencing a spike in roo-related car repairs with one Cessnock business reporting between three to six kangaroo-versus-car jobs each week.

Wildlife experts say food is plentiful for kangaroos following good rain across the Hunter, bringing roos out to feed, particularly when they are most active at dawn and dusk.

The increase in the number of car accidents involving the marsupials has prompted Central Hunter police to issue a warning to motorists to slow down.

Maitland duty officer Inspector Glenn Blaine said motorists should lower their speed and drive to the ­conditions, particularly early in the morning and at sunset.

“If you know you’re driving at those times and you know you’re in an area where kangaroos are prevalent, then slow down,” Inspector Blaine said.

Cessnock Smash Repairs owner Greg Gearing knows only too well the damage roos can cause.

He hit one, then hit a tree on Palmer’s Lane at Pokolbin recently and his car was a write-off.

“We do get an increase of roo repair jobs during winter,” he said.

“They can range from small $2000 jobs to $12,000 or write-offs,” Mr Gearing said.

He said kangaroo damage to cars accounted for about 15 per cent of repairs at his business.

Hunter Valley Zoo zookeeper Amanda Chisholm said kangaroos were more active during winter than in the warmer months, when they retreat to find shade to stay cool and sleep.

“While they are not nocturnal, you rarely see them during the middle of the day because they are resting,” Ms Chisholm said.

She said the Hunter was alive at present with wallabies and eastern grey kangaroos.

“They’re not very smart, they are unpredictable and they will just jump out in front of you,” she said.

“If there is a drought you rarely see them, but now we have had rain and food is plentiful they are out in droves.”

Ms Chisholm warned motorists not to approach injured kangaroos because they can become aggressive, with the more mature animals weighing up to 80 kilograms.

She said the best thing to do was to ­contact the local branch of the Native Animal Trust Fund.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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