Kangaroos wreak havoc on cars as mating season starts

THEY are a regular hazard on our roads, but don’t be surprised if you see a few more kangaroos about this spring. 

Several motorists have come to the Central Western Daily following accidents with the iconic marsupials, including Skye Freshwater, who ended up with about $12,000 in damage to her Kia Cerato.

Ms Freshwater was returning home to Oberon from her workplace in Orange on Friday evening when a large kangaroo jumped in front of her.

“I didn’t even have time to slow down – I slammed the brakes on but it actually made my car swerve and I almost lost control,” she said.

The damage to both car and beast was devastating – the kangaroo died on impact, collapsing the engine bay, and Ms Freshwater just made the final five kilometres home.

“It had water spraying out of it and the engine was seized,” she said.

[Kangaroos] can only change direction if their feet are on the ground.

Ray Mjadwesch

Ecologist Ray Mjadwesch, a consultant who regularly works with WIRES, said kangaroos were more active in spring due to the mating season.

“In September and October, males start wandering around looking for females, but every now and then, females get killed,” he said. 

With the victim often not the animal grazing straight ahead, but the one coming from the side, Mr Mjadwesch said kangaroos’ movement played a role.

“Their capacity to change direction is limited, they can only change direction if their feet are on the ground, for that microsecond,” he said.

But he said overall, population sizes were dropping as humans developed more land. 

“There are pockets of kangaroos, but they’re not everywhere anymore,” he said. 

Cheryl Mitchell from Williams Smash Repairs said there had not been a trend towards kangaroo collisions recently, but they were “definitely out and about”.

“We’re always flat out,” she said.

Ms Mitchell said repair costs tended to escalate where a bull bar required replacement or for later model cars with more components.

A NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) spokesman said the animals could be drawn to roadside verges for ‘green pick’, especially as conditions dried out.

“OEH encourages motorists to drive carefully at all times and be aware of wildlife, especially at dawn and dusk.”