Easing of restrictions puts animal lives on the line
IT HAS been only a few days since lockdown restrictions were eased in the region, but already local animal rescuers are getting more calls about animals being hit by vehicles.
Wildlife carer Kathy Silk and her daughter Stephanie have been continuing their work despite the pandemic emergency, and noticed a welcome reduction in the number of animals being hurt on the roads during lockdown.
That changed at the weekend.
“The benefit of the whole ordeal is that there is less traffic and therefore less road hits to attend. Dropping the level of quarantine, suddenly we’ve had at least one call a day for car hit,” Mrs Silk said.
“My hope is that people will look back on COVID-19 and realise the benefits it had on our environment and especially on our wildlife.”
Like many people, they have been forced to take additional measures to keep themselves and others safe on the job.
Normally when someone reports an injured animal, Kathy asks that they stay with or near the animal, to make it easier to find, and provide any additional information once rescuers are on the scene.
Social distancing requirements have limited how much contact she can have with people.
“When dealing with rescues, we ask that, where possible, social distancing is adhered to. If the animal is contained we ask that it be left somewhere safe or when we arrive, they place the container on the ground and back away the required 1.5m,” Kathy said.
“But I will always discuss any queries people have and listen to the information regarding the animal.”
Local vet surgeries have also adopted similar contactless approaches, and Mrs Silk said it has been challenging to deal with the reduced interaction with others who share her passion for animals.
“I have found the contactless approach really hard to deal with on a personal level, but I totally understand why it has to be this way,” she said.
“I’d say the biggest challenge is hoping that people are honest about their health as we put ourselves at risk every time we are called out.”
Anyone who finds injured or orphaned wildlife can contact Kathy on 0410 334 661 at any time.