An Open Letter to The Australian Society for Kangaroos

MOCS 11 July 2013 66

Hi Guys,

Just a quick note to let you know what’s happening here in Canberra at the moment.

Being a Canberran born and bred I have grown up with kangaroos and have become pretty adept at spotting them near the road when driving. In fact until recently I had only ever clipped one which blindsided me back in the80’s. Even during the mass influx of roos during the drought a few years back, I had a few close calls but managed to avoid hitting any. That was until two weeks ago. I’d just finished a night shift and as it was just before dawn on a cool crisp still morning I was well aware that these were perfect conditions for kangaroos. In fact I was probably more alert than usual as though it was some sort of premonition. I was less than five kilometres from home when I saw it, a good sized Eastern Grey bounding along parallel with my car so I immediately hit the brakes. The roo then chose this point to change direction and somehow managed to leap in front of the car and I went straight over the top of it before being able to come to a complete stop. To my surprise the roo sprung from the rear of the car and bounded off into the distance apparently without injury but I did spend the next few days wondering if it was alright or suffering a slow painful death under a bush somewhere. Even though there was little damage to my car my neighbour wasn’t so lucky as two days later his encounter with a wayward roo cost him a new bumper grill and radiator which was a better result than a work colleague who only a month or so before wrote off his four wheel drive when an impact with a roo actually snapped the engine block off its mounts, luckily both kangaroos died instantly from these accidents.

Now I say luckily as a week to the day from my first incident I had picked up my little girl from school and was heading home. It was around 3:15 in the afternoon and I was in a line of traffic when out of nowhere another decent sized Eastern Grey bounded from the right hand side of the road managing to pick the gap between the oncoming traffic, me and the car in front , clip my bonnet and slam straight into the windscreen. I actually have no real memory of how but somehow I managed to get the car to the side of the road without being able to see anything and more amazingly without the car following rear-ending me after my panic stricken locking of the brakes. In fact all I can remember was my little girl screaming and probably me screaming as well. After double checking we were out of harm’s way and finally settling my daughter down I got out to inspect the damage and was amazed at how the windscreen managed to hold so well and not slam into my or my daughters face. Several other cars had stopped to see if we were alright and they too seemed pretty impressed with our luck but unfortunately the kangaroo hadn’t faired quite as well as its thigh bone was protruding from the skin. None of us knew what to do as if anyone approached the roo it would try to stand which was quite obviously causing it more distress and seeing it thrashing around in agony only had me more thankful it hadn’t come through the windscreen into the cabin . At some point someone came up to me, as I’d returned to my daughter, and said they’d called the rangers and they’d be here shortly.

I honestly don’t know how long shortly was but my wife had driven half an hour from work to pick up our daughter to take her home while I waited for the tow truck. By the time the ranger arrived I was alone on the side of the road still trying to work out how to comfort the roo while being too scared to go to close. I’d even tried to cover it with an old picnic rug we had in the boot but it would try to stand as soon as I approached it and it was making some pretty horrific noises. I’ll spare you the details but when the ranger arrived he was forced to put the roo down and I queried him on what a difficult job it must be. He said it was but it has become part of life in Canberra. Although he wasn’t aware of the exact figures he estimated that they would euthanize approximately eight kangaroos a day in the ACT that had been hit by cars. This figure didn’t include the kangaroos they remove from the road that were already dead or those that had been hit and they couldn’t find them nor those that had been hit but not reported. A conservative estimation would have to lean towards at least twenty kangaroos a day are being hit by cars in the ACT region. The ranger himself admitted to hitting one on the way to work one morning.

Now I know you guys believe you’re doing the right thing by stopping this cull in Canberra but the kangaroo problem is getting ridiculous and very very dangerous. After this experience I truly believe that a cull would have to be far more humane than the scene I witnessed. A scene where an injured animal writhed and grunted in complete agony for almost an hour. A scene that is potentially replicated 20 times a day in Canberra, 140 times a week, 500 time a month, 6,000 time a year! But even worse, what if that roo was a few pounds heavier or I was travelling a few kilometres faster? What would have happened to my little girl? Thankfully she’s alright but still a little traumatised by the incident as most kids would be. In the mean time when I get the quote from the panel beaters should I send it to your organisation?

For your consideration

Steve Daniel


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66 Responses to An Open Letter to The Australian Society for Kangaroos
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kagey kagey 8:01 pm 19 Jul 13

I used to have an old car jack that utilised a heavy steel handle. I no longer use the jack, but I still carry the heavy steel handle in the boot. Just sayin’. Rangers can take a long time to arrive and an animal that’s too injured needs quick relief.

AussieRodney AussieRodney 11:42 am 19 Jul 13

c_c™ said :

In case there was any doubt the people behind this so called liberation movement …. aren’t the fool quid ….

PML. Is that a deliberate typo?

LSWCHP LSWCHP 11:38 pm 14 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

LSWCHP said :

IrishPete said :

[
An my favouritely overused word sustainable (this time with an un- in front of it), along with reform (=change for changes sake) and appropriate (with or without the “in-” in front, used when someone can’t be bothered to explain, or doesn’t actually understand).

IP

Now *that* is one of the finest pieces of gibberish I’ve ever seen on this forum, and by god, I’ve seen a few. Simply outstanding!

Then I would suggest, Sir or Madam, that you are one of the Commonwealth Public Servants, or politicians or their flunkies who are responsible for creating this alternate language.

IP

Then you suggest wrong dude. Not that it’s at all relevant, but I work in the private sector, and I’ve been doing so for several decades.

And I think you generally write pretty well, but that particular para was just tragic. Seriously. If you can’t see that then you’re deluding yourself.

gazket gazket 10:36 am 14 Jul 13

mos said :

Hundreds of human pedestrians are killed or involved in traffic accidents every year. Is the solution to cull humans? How about we look at other ways to reduce the number of cars hitting roos. Educate drivers to drive more slowly in hot-spots – especially between dawn and dusk. Build roo-proof fences and wildlife underpasses along the most dangerous stretches of road. Use a high-frequency device on the car to warn off roos. The first/best option should never be to kill sentient beings – especially those who probably have more right to be here than we do.

“Use a high-frequency device on the car to warn off roos” These gadget things don’t work, are just a gimmick and won’t get you an insurance discount either. Better of with a low frequency device, a 4 poster bull bar made of steel warns off roo’s every time. I don’t get a insurance discount with this product either but at least I can see it works quite well.

IrishPete IrishPete 8:46 am 14 Jul 13

LSWCHP said :

IrishPete said :

[
An my favouritely overused word sustainable (this time with an un- in front of it), along with reform (=change for changes sake) and appropriate (with or without the “in-” in front, used when someone can’t be bothered to explain, or doesn’t actually understand).

IP

Now *that* is one of the finest pieces of gibberish I’ve ever seen on this forum, and by god, I’ve seen a few. Simply outstanding!

Then I would suggest, Sir or Madam, that you are one of the Commonwealth Public Servants, or politicians or their flunkies who are responsible for creating this alternate language.

IP

CraigT CraigT 6:02 am 14 Jul 13

crappicker said :

CraigT said :

chewy14 said :

I will totally agree with you however that I think a review of the cull is needed. The options need to be reassessed to determine an appropriate long term approach to this issue.

Yes. It seems pretty obvious that the scope of the cull needs to be extended to a far greater number of animals and that the cull needs to be protected by legislation to prevent the animal rights nutters from tying up our legal system and wasting our ratepayers’ $$$ every year.

Oh Craig, you really seem to have it in for the roos.
Perhaps my current bunch of male roos my wish to interrupt their martial arts training for some words with you.

Let’s hope they remember to look both ways before crossing the road, eh?

crappicker crappicker 11:31 pm 13 Jul 13

CraigT said :

chewy14 said :

I will totally agree with you however that I think a review of the cull is needed. The options need to be reassessed to determine an appropriate long term approach to this issue.

Yes. It seems pretty obvious that the scope of the cull needs to be extended to a far greater number of animals and that the cull needs to be protected by legislation to prevent the animal rights nutters from tying up our legal system and wasting our ratepayers’ $$$ every year.

Oh Craig, you really seem to have it in for the roos.
Perhaps my current bunch of male roos my wish to interrupt their martial arts training for some words with you.

LSWCHP LSWCHP 11:09 pm 13 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

[
An my favouritely overused word sustainable (this time with an un- in front of it), along with reform (=change for changes sake) and appropriate (with or without the “in-” in front, used when someone can’t be bothered to explain, or doesn’t actually understand).

IP

Now *that* is one of the finest pieces of gibberish I’ve ever seen on this forum, and by god, I’ve seen a few. Simply outstanding!

CraigT CraigT 7:59 pm 13 Jul 13

chewy14 said :

I will totally agree with you however that I think a review of the cull is needed. The options need to be reassessed to determine an appropriate long term approach to this issue.

Yes. It seems pretty obvious that the scope of the cull needs to be extended to a far greater number of animals and that the cull needs to be protected by legislation to prevent the animal rights nutters from tying up our legal system and wasting our ratepayers’ $$$ every year.

Stevian Stevian 5:18 pm 13 Jul 13

Swaggie said :

Can’t we just cull a few of the animal rights nutters instead – it seems everyone will be happy then.

Or cull those that call for such a cull, simpler and more just surely?

Swaggie Swaggie 3:33 pm 13 Jul 13

Can’t we just cull a few of the animal rights nutters instead – it seems everyone will be happy then.

Hatter64 Hatter64 2:52 am 13 Jul 13

Well said Steve. Thanks.

FreddyVegan FreddyVegan 8:19 pm 12 Jul 13

Roundhead89 said :

I’ve been following this debate and I feel that a key point is not being made. That animal liberation is a form of bestiality. Animal rights activists are sexually attracted to animals and fantasise about having sex with them. These sad people have no affectionate feelings towards humans and believe humans should be eradicated from the Earth. Attempts to cure animal liberationists usually backfire and they take up pedophilia alongside bestiality. Instead of a kangaroo cull perhaps we should be looking at a cull of animal rights activists.

Dear god, it disturbs me to think sick bastards like you exist.

beardedclam beardedclam 4:58 pm 12 Jul 13

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/environment/kangaroo-cull-protesters-lose-last-minute-legal-bid-20130712-2ptvg.html#ixzz2YoNuFSbM
So they are still not going to listen to the court and the law.
IF they dont get hit by a bullet, I really hope the fines are enforced.

chewy14 chewy14 3:24 pm 12 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

chewy14 said :

EvanJames said :

But, but, but, I thought the roo cull was because the roos were STARVING. Starving! You mean to say it’s because they hop onto roads and endanger cars? Say it ain’t so.

So it’s really just a cull of convenience.

Yes, one guy’s comment on the internet totally invalidates the science showing that kangaroos are degrading the environment for other endangered species.

If anything the OP provides a sensible (although anecdotal) secondary reason why the cull should go ahead. If we could reduce the incidence of car strikes, it would simply be an added benefit.

If? You want the gubinment to spend 200k of your money on an “if”? Does anyone know the roo population in the ACT (I can’t find it in the Kangaroo Management Plan or elsewhere)? Is the cull of <2000 any more than a trim? Okay, it's a targeted cull (haha, pun intended) but the move around – so if you exterminate them in one area, won't the population drift in from another area?

A few months ago the Minister said he was waiting for an evaluation of the first 4 years of the cull http://online.districtbulletin.com.au/2013/04/minister-rattenbury-still-waiting-for-kangaroo-cull-evaluations/ , and he would release it when it was available. I don't recall it being released. So I don't know if it includes roo-strike incidents, but I doubt it.

The failure to evaluate is somewhat concerning.

IP

There’s no ‘if’, the science says the cull is needed for environmental reasons.
The possibility of lowering car strikes may be an added benefit but I don’t know if the governments even looked at it.

I will totally agree with you however that I think a review of the cull is needed. The options need to be reassessed to determine an appropriate long term approach to this issue.

IrishPete IrishPete 3:17 pm 12 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

Reprobate said :

wow… just wow. My head hurts now.

Anyway, see you all in a couple of years time – when the roo population is once again unsustainable, the fringe nutters again go to court to stop “the horror”, and again line up (dragging their unvaccinated, home-schooled, you-go-do-anything-you-like-little-Mully kids along for extra media angles) with their placards outside the nature reserves, not making one iota of difference inside or outside the fences.

An my favouritely overused word sustainable (this time with an un- in front of it), along with reform (=change for changes sake) and appropriate (with or without the “in-” in front, used when someone can’t be bothered to explain, or doesn’t actually understand).

So, to get to my point, now sustainability of the population has been cited as a reason for the cull. Along with road risk. But the government is only citing rare plants and little critters. Which is it folks? Make up your minds.

IP

I think that was supposed to start “Ah,” not “an”. Cold fingers (warm fart, as my mother used to say).

IP

IrishPete IrishPete 3:15 pm 12 Jul 13

Reprobate said :

wow… just wow. My head hurts now.

Anyway, see you all in a couple of years time – when the roo population is once again unsustainable, the fringe nutters again go to court to stop “the horror”, and again line up (dragging their unvaccinated, home-schooled, you-go-do-anything-you-like-little-Mully kids along for extra media angles) with their placards outside the nature reserves, not making one iota of difference inside or outside the fences.

An my favouritely overused word sustainable (this time with an un- in front of it), along with reform (=change for changes sake) and appropriate (with or without the “in-” in front, used when someone can’t be bothered to explain, or doesn’t actually understand).

So, to get to my point, now sustainability of the population has been cited as a reason for the cull. Along with road risk. But the government is only citing rare plants and little critters. Which is it folks? Make up your minds.

IP

IrishPete IrishPete 3:12 pm 12 Jul 13

chewy14 said :

EvanJames said :

But, but, but, I thought the roo cull was because the roos were STARVING. Starving! You mean to say it’s because they hop onto roads and endanger cars? Say it ain’t so.

So it’s really just a cull of convenience.

Yes, one guy’s comment on the internet totally invalidates the science showing that kangaroos are degrading the environment for other endangered species.

If anything the OP provides a sensible (although anecdotal) secondary reason why the cull should go ahead. If we could reduce the incidence of car strikes, it would simply be an added benefit.

If? You want the gubinment to spend 200k of your money on an “if”? Does anyone know the roo population in the ACT (I can’t find it in the Kangaroo Management Plan or elsewhere)? Is the cull of <2000 any more than a trim? Okay, it's a targeted cull (haha, pun intended) but the move around – so if you exterminate them in one area, won't the population drift in from another area?

A few months ago the Minister said he was waiting for an evaluation of the first 4 years of the cull http://online.districtbulletin.com.au/2013/04/minister-rattenbury-still-waiting-for-kangaroo-cull-evaluations/ , and he would release it when it was available. I don't recall it being released. So I don't know if it includes roo-strike incidents, but I doubt it.

The failure to evaluate is somewhat concerning.

IP

Reprobate Reprobate 2:21 pm 12 Jul 13

wow… just wow. My head hurts now.

Anyway, see you all in a couple of years time – when the roo population is once again unsustainable, the fringe nutters again go to court to stop “the horror”, and again line up (dragging their unvaccinated, home-schooled, you-go-do-anything-you-like-little-Mully kids along for extra media angles) with their placards outside the nature reserves, not making one iota of difference inside or outside the fences.

spinact spinact 1:31 pm 12 Jul 13

Thumper said :

Onceler said :

And it’s not just about cars. Kangaroos and motorcycles don’t mix well at all.

Only because no-one has made a large enough blender yet…

Challenge accepted

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