A motorist was left shocked after hitting an animal at 100km/h on an Australian road last week.
After continuing on for another 45 minutes, the driver decided to pull over in the Victorian town of Hamilton to check out the damage. Inspecting the car, they heard a strange noise just behind the number plate and discovered a small marsupial behind the engine bay.
Hamilton Wildlife Sanctuary's Shelly Burrowes arrived to help remove the tiny creature and was surprised to find a tiny joey tucked into the vehicle. “He’d gone straight through the plastic flap which hadn’t even broken, it had just given way, it had just slowed down the impact,” she recalled to Yahoo News Australia.
Shelly said she was thankful the motorist called her after finding the young wallaby as it couldn't immediately be released into the wild. Bringing the frightened creature home she examined its body for injuries and the result was extraordinary. “He didn’t have a single scratch on him or a broken bone,” she said.
The rescuer described the 3kg joey as being “really wild”, so after three days he was taken to another carer who has a property which backs onto a national park. He’s now doing “really well” and it’s expected he’ll be big enough to be released in around a month.
Why it's important to help injured wildlife
Surprisingly it’s not the first time we’ve shared a story about a macropod being hit by a car and surviving. In 2020, a motorist drove 300km with a wallaby in the grill of his car during a trip to Cairns. It’s believed it had hidden there for 12 hours before it was discovered.
Because that animal was fully grown, rescuers had to remove a panel of the car in order to help set it free.
In Australia, it’s recommended that motorists stop and check animals they hit when it is safe to do so. While it’s rare for wildlife to become embedded in the grill of a car, they often survive car strikes and need veterinary assistance. Joeys also frequently survive collisions and require help — otherwise, they can face a slow death from shock, cold or predation.
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