I drove down to the coast on the week end and counted 13 dead wombats in my travels. Poor buggers were laying beside the road, paws pointed to the sky. In some places there were two corpses in less than 100 meters. Most were between Braidwood and Bungendore. All were sprayed with a cross on them. I am assuming WIRES flips them upside down to check for young and then leaves them there? Or is this the work of some serial tagger who has a penchant for tagging dead animals?
Anyway, there’s now a very nice new strip of road between Quangers and HQJOC that’s a lot straighter and less hilly than the old road.
And as usual on the way back I got overtaken by idiots doing stupid speeds. One must have been doing at least 140 on one stretch approaching Bungendore. Still I spotted a cop car sitting in among the bushes on a dirt track on the left side of the road so they must have gotten done.
I feel sad for so many dead wombats on that road. It must be wombat mating or migration season I guess.
ED – At this point it seems best to include Douglas Adams’ thoughts on the Wombat:
The creature that kills the most people each year is the common Wombat. It is nearly as ridiculous as its name, and spends its life digging holes in the ground, in which it hides. During the night it comes out to eat worms and grubs.
The wombat kills people in two ways: First, the animal is indestructible. Digging holes in the hard Australian clay builds muscles that outclass Olympic weight lifters. At night, they often wander the roads. Semi-trailers (Road Trains) have hit them at high speed, with all 9 wheels on one side, and this merely makes them very annoyed. They express this by snorting, glaring, and walking away. Alas, to smaller cars, the wombat becomes a symmetrical launching pad, with results that can be imagined, but not adequately described.
The second way the wombat kills people relates to its burrowing behaviour. If a person happens to put their hand down a Wombat hole, the Wombat will feel the disturbance and think “Ho! My hole is collapsing!” at which it will brace its muscled legs and push up against the roof of its burrow with incredible force, to prevent its collapse. Any unfortunate hand will be crushed, and attempts to withdraw will cause the Wombat to simply bear down harder. The unfortunate will then bleed to death through their crushed hand as the wombat prevents him from seeking assistance. This is considered the third most embarrassing known way to die, and Australians don’t talk about it much.