Recently I read an article in the Midland Express dated March 28, 'Rescuers plea: Help reduce fence carnage'.
I wish to applaud Ms Litchfield for raising this important issue and why we need to be doing more to protect our precious wildlife.
However I am concerned about Ms Litchfield's advice that anyone finding a kangaroo caught in a fence should immediately cut it free. From personal experience I suggest this is not the best advice.
Several times have been involved in incidents where kangaroos have been caught in fences and where well-meaning people have cut the animal free.
This is not the best course of action as often once cut free the animal, although injured, can still be highly mobile and may escape with untreated injuries which results in the animal suffering a long and painful death.
On one occasion a kangaroo close to my home was found by a walker who then tracked down a local to assist.
Thinking the kangaroo was uninjured they cut it free. However once free it was clear that it had an injured leg but was still sufficiently mobile to escape.
By the time wildlife rescuers arrived the kangaroo was more than 300 metres away. The rescuers then spent several hours observing the kangaroo from afar through binoculars with the aim of approaching the animal to tranquillise it so it could be taken into care. It eventually fled into the bush and was unable to be found again.
These highly experienced rescuers advised a kangaroo should never be removed from a fence without first calling Wildlife Victoria and only then cut free if you are absolutely certain that you are capable of safely containing the animal without further injury to it or yourself.
They advised the best course of action is to call Wildlife Victoria immediately. They will despatch a qualified rescuer who can properly assess the situation and take appropriate action including sedating the animal if necessary before cutting it free. Wildlife Victoria can be contacted on 1300 094 535.