East Gippsland Wildlife Rehabilitators 
Inc..East Gippsland Wildlife
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East Gippsland Wildlife Rehabilitators Inc..
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Gabby**** The Will ****Amber

It's heartbreaking to see wildlife dead on the road and yet we see it so often and people just drive over or past the bodies without really registering that a living being has been torn from that which anchors it to this world.

These deceased have a role to play yet if they are female, can possibly have a chance of replacing themselves if their pouch contains a baby. That makes the death more tragic but gives us hope as well. We can do something to help. Taking the baby to a wildlife carer, shelter or a veterinary practice allows us to take responsibility. Allowing someone to attempt to raise the baby and release it as an adult from whence it came and which is it's heritage by birth.

It's a small thing to move a dead animal off the road, and not allow its body to be driven over again and again. Doing so proves and reinforces the dignity of the person who does it. After all, if a dead person was found on the road someone would certainly move them off to ensure that the body wouldn't be run over till it was ground into the tar.

Do not move the body so far off the road that it's out of sight. To hide the body is counter productive and allows the out of sight out of mind ignorance to take hold. This will not serve any sensible purpose. But do remove the body far enough off the road so any carrion feeders that help keep our environment clean will not be in danger of getting run over.

Naturally if an animal has been badly squashed, mutilated and torn open by the drivers who not only killed it but also showed their contempt. The animal would be best left for those who are paid, equipped and experienced to remove it from the road, because the damage has been done.

Gabby**** Be Safe Always ****Amber

Always be safe. One animal dead on the road is too much, two would be horrendous.

Moving an animal off the road, especially a busy road, is a precarious action. Many motorists don't care about wildlife or about those who feel they should help them, even when dead. Many motorists on busy roads are more preoccupied with traffic and only traffic that will hurt their car. So care must be exercised when stepping up to the mark and taking responsibility for our wildlife both dead and alive.

Try to wear bright clothes, have hazard lights on the car flashing and only walk onto the road when there is a clear space sufficient to allow the animals tail or leg to be held and dragged out of the way before the traffic is again too close.

Do not attempt this if the interval between traffic is such that you need to run. Because tripping over and becoming a target for the racing traffic is not an option. The animal has done that and is in the state you find it because of just that action. It's wise to learn from the mistakes made by another being. Especially one that has paid the price.

Gabby**** On the Roadside ****Amber

Having dragged or carried the animal onto the roadside well out of the path of the traffic, preferably with your vehicle with hazard lights flashing, between yourself and the oncoming vehicles. Turn the animal onto it's side or back and check the pouch. Even if there is no obvious bulge in that pouch area just pull open the lip of the pouch and look inside to be certain it is empty.

Gabby**** The Pouch Young ****Amber

The pouch of a marsupial is the mothers cradle for the baby it carries. Too little is still known about the pouch and all the enzymes and bacteria that it contains and how these affect the baby, assist it with its quest for survival. If the baby is only very small, the size of a jelly bean, pink almost translucent and attached to the teat, it's best to do nothing.

Because everything you do has to be done so quickly and the baby has to get to a very experienced carer quite quickly, and in most situations there's just no time and handling from one to another doesn't help. If the body of the mother is still warm you may call a wildlife rescue service and ask them to contact a wildlife carer who may be able to do something, or know of a wildlife carer who will look after a very small baby.

If unsure, and unable to contact someone quickly, it is best to do nothing and allow the baby to die as an indifferent nature intended. Suckling the cold dead milk of its mother. Most of these extremely small babies are just too tiny to survive as a general rule, and most wildlife carers will not take them on.

Sometimes there are larger pink babies attached to the teat. Still small enough to fit into the palm of your hand, but quite robust. Time is also of the essence to get these to an experienced carer, or they too will die, even if their chances of survival are better. These can be mostly be saved, But even then the odds are not good. The internal damage to their small bodies is not often discovered till some days later, and the only consolation is that the wildlife carer has given them warmth, a modicum of comfort and warm milk if they will take it.

The speed with which these babies should get to an experienced wildlife carer to give then their best chance of survival cannot be emphasised strongly enough. Though not all wildlife carers will take these on even these slightly larger pink babies, they usually know a wildlife carer or shelter who will. These babies need more all hours of the day care and special consideration to survive.

If babies are still attached to their mothers teat, they should not be pulled from it. Ideally the teat should be cut as far away fom the babies mouth as possible. This so as not to damage the mouth, break it's jaw or something just as terrible. A pocket knife or scissors will suffice to cut the teat from the dead mother, and remove the baby with teat still in its mouth from the pouch.

If possible, stick a safety pin through the now limp, cut teat so the baby doesn't swallow it. The wildlife carer will know what to do when the baby arrives to be placed in their care.

A word of caution when using a knife or scissors to cut the pouch to remove the baby. Make certain that you protect the baby with your hand as you cut, so as not to cut it.

Take your time and be very careful, especially for the baby and also for yourself. The haste doesn't begin till you have the baby out and wrapped in a warm cloth or placed against your skin and taking it to a wildlife service, shelter, carer or a police station or veterinary service you contacted on the phone after you discovered there was a baby in the pouch.

Gabby**** Finally ****Amber

Babies this small have little if any immunity and are unable to regulate their own body temperature. So putting them next to your skin is the best way of making certain they are warm. The temperature of the human body is a little bit high for these littlies, but it's the closest to what they should be enjoying in the pouch and it will do the trick in the short term.

From the time you pass a baby to an authorised wildlife carer or shelter, you can feel a great sense of satisfaction which is very much deserved.
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