A couple road tripping through the Aussie outback came across a "confronting" sight they just couldn't ignore.
Megan Alcorn was driving out of a campsite near Charters Towers, Queensland, with her partner Joss Taylor on Friday morning when "out of the corner of [her] eye" she spotted what appeared to be a dead wallaby and "something else moving next to it".
"I could tell it was fresh roadkill so I quickly pulled over the best I could, ran across the road with a towel just in case it was a joey and it was," she told Yahoo News Australia.
Joey just moments away from sad fate
The joey, described as "quite large" — believed to be about five months old — was also "very lucky to be picked up when it was".
"There's a lot of massive trucks using that route and luckily I scooped it up because as soon as I got off the side of the road a massive semi-trailer went over the mother again," Ms Alcorn said. "I felt pretty amazing that we could help save it."
Describing the situation as "pretty confronting", the young woman understood why "some people wouldn't stop and help" however thought it was "always worth checking".
"It was a no brainer," Mr Taylor added. "We didn't even have to think much about it. When we were driving through Alice Springs, we stopped and did a tour of the kangaroo sanctuary... I think that kind of inspired us to make sure we check pouches of roadkill that we see."
Sharp increase in kangaroos being hit by cars
Kangaroos and wallabies are sadly the most killed animal on roads. Yahoo News Australia reached out to three frontline rescuers around Australia to find out how bad the problem is.
"We have five years of live data on Google Maps showing the exact locations, time, date and outcome of all macropod deaths and collisions and we can show over a 1000 percent increase in deaths since 2018," a spokeswoman for Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast said.
When asked why, kangaroo rescuer Krysti Severi, said "more developments" are part of the problem. "Definitely more roos being pushed into smaller areas and their paths have been compromised," she told Yahoo News Australia. "They're being brought out on the road a lot more to try and find their way back home and a lot more are being hit.
She urged councils and developers to "create wildlife corridors" to "make it safer for these animals to get back to where they need to go."
Phil England from Stonedeaf Wildlife also encouraged drivers to be vigilant. "If you're in a semi-rural area just slow down and drive with caution," he told Yahoo News Australia. "Drive with awareness like you would in school zones."
Joey was 'pretty stressed' but now in good health
Describing the poor animal as "pretty frantic, stressed and shaking," Ms Alcorn said she "stimulated a pouch-like situation," with a towel and then later a soft shirt — something experts like Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) recommend.
Afterwards, the couple found a nearby vet who assured them the joey was "in good health".
"She was pretty optimistic that she could just give it straight to the carer to be looked after," Ms Alcorn said.
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