Orphan's plight sparks call to slow down

HOLIDAYMAKERS are being urged to slow down on the road this summer to spare the lives of native animals.

More than 80 orphaned, sick and injured animals are expected to arrive at Bicheno's Pademelon Park Wildlife Refuge between now and Easter.

The majority of these animals will arrive as a direct consequence of road incidents.

Among the latest to arrive at the East Coast refuge is six-month old Bennetts wallaby Lucky.

His mother was hit by a car and killed last week.

Contained in a still, dark and quiet location, Lucky endured a painful mourning period.

He had diarrhoea, shook violently and cried out for his mother during the night.

Lucky will now go through a slow rehabilitation process before he is hopefully released back into the wild.

Pademelon Park Wildlife Refuge co-owner Vicki Preston said this time of year was notoriously bad for road incidents, with people rushing on roads they were often unfamiliar with.

``As soon as the tourist season comes, there's always a huge influx of roadkill,'' she said.

Ms Preston said excessive car speeds had a huge impact on the number of road incidents involving animals.

``If something jumps out in front of your car and you're doing 100km/h, you've got no chance at all of avoiding it,'' Ms Preston said.

``It doesn't take you long to get from anywhere to anywhere in Tasmania. Slowing down slightly makes five or 10 minutes to your arrival time, but a huge difference to the lives of these animals.''

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