t'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.
hese 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.
t'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
o 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.
aturally 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.
**** Be Safe Always ****
lways be safe. One animal dead on the road is
too much, two would be
oving 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.
ry 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.
o 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.
**** On the Roadside ****
aving 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.
**** The Pouch Young ****
he 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
ecause 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
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f 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.
ometimes 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.
he 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.
f 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.
f 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.
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.
ake 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.
**** Finally ****
abies 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
rom 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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