South West wildlife organisation FAWNA concerned over amount of injured animals over Easter

Fence hanger: One of the injured kangaroos found along a South West road during the 2022 Easter weekend. Picture: Supplied.

Fence hanger: One of the injured kangaroos found along a South West road during the 2022 Easter weekend. Picture: Supplied.

South West wildlife rehabilitation group FAWNA continues to call on the State Government to do better after dead animals were "littered" along the highway over the Easter weekend.

FAWNA president Suzi Strapp said not only did the influx of tourists driving down south negatively impacted wildlife, so did the prescribed burns that were occurring in the region by Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions.

"FAWNA volunteers received countless calls from members of the public requesting assistance with severely injured kangaroos," she said.

"Most with broken limbs from road trauma but others, known as "fence hangers" which describes the entanglement of the kangaroos limb as it tries to escape a busy road by scaling a fence.

"Kangaroos with significant leg injuries cannot be rehabilitated and must be promptly euthanised to prevent undue suffering."

A department spokesperson said they encourage everyone to contact its Wildcare Helpline when they see a wild animal needing help.

"The helpline volunteers offer advice on sick, injured or displaced native wildlife and refer callers to a wider network of experts and registered wildlife rehabilitators in their area for assistance," the spokesperson said.

However, Ms Strapp said when her volunteers called the helpline the wildlife officers were "missing in action".

She said that when she asked for help to euthanise an injured kangaroo the person on the phone said " we have no one available- they are all at the fires".

After trying for an hour to locate someone that could euthanise the animal, Ms Strapp said the wildlife helpline worker said she would need to call police.

"We are reticent to call the police to assist unless the animal is causing a road hazard- they are already over stretched on long weekends," Ms Strapp said.

The department spokesperson said the wildlife helpline received 31 calls in relation to injured kangaroos over the Easter long weekend and 11 of the calls were from areas between Busselton and Augusta.

"Wildcare Helpline volunteers then contacted a volunteer animal control agent to attend to these calls," the spokesperson said.

Ms Strapp FAWNA encountered six kangaroos that needed euthanasia just on Easter Sunday.

"Approaching an injured Kangaroos is extremely dangerous and it is unacceptable that there is no one available from DBCA on our busiest weekend of the year, why on earth would a department perform a prescribed burn on an Easter long weekend?" she said.

The department spokesperson said recent prescribed burns in the South West prioritised areas where smoke would be blowing away from road networks to "minimise potential impacts to wildlife and disruption to the broader community".

"Motorists are also advised to drive to conditions, take care, turn on headlights and travel at appropriate speeds when travelling in these areas," the spokesperson said.

"The department will continue to take a proactive approach to providing public smoke alerts to ensure people can put appropriate measures in place to minimise any potential impacts."