Thor's story a stark road safety reminder

Animals Rescue Wildlife Animal Welfare Posted May 3, 2024
Around 100 koalas were hit by cars on Queensland roads last year and brought into our RSPCA Wildlife Hospital.

Thor the 8-year-old male koala’s plight serves as a stark reminder to road-users to always keep a watchful eye on your surroundings as you travel from A to B. 

Thor was injured by a car

He recently beat the odds and was released back into his natural habitat after being hit by a car in south Brisbane late last year.

Thor suffered a fractured left humerus and abrasions to his body, with his injuries so severe, Veterinarian Dr Aiden Pickering was brought in to operate on him at the RSPCA Queensland Wildlife Hospital.

Thor's x-rays

Having recovered well following pain relief and around the clock monitoring, Thor was transferred to our Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre at Eumundi on the Sunshine Coast.

Thanks to the help of an incredible support network of wildlife carers across the state, the Centre treats many types of wildlife such as kangaroos, echidnas and of course, koalas! It is safe to say Thor was not short on company during his stay.

He was in our care for three months from rescue to release, so Thor became a friendly and familiar face during his time with us.

Thor has now been released back to the wild

RSPCA Queensland Wildlife Veterinary Director Tim Portas said there was a range of actions drivers could take to ensure stories like Thor’s do not repeat.

"Sadly, sometimes wildlife like reptiles, possums, birds, kangaroos, koalas and other animals are struck and killed or badly injured by motor vehicles," says Mr. Portas.

"It is so important that we all play our part to be extra cautious, especially during the warmer months of the year and breeding seasons - to prevent road accidents."

Research prevalent wildlife locations

It is helpful when you plan on driving in new areas to be aware of where wildlife may be located. Search your location on a web browser and ‘animals on roads’ to get an insight into heavily populated wildlife areas. You might even ask a local person to the area when driving. Locals usually are aware of what wildlife is located where, so they can provide helpful information. Knowledge of where animals are will allow you to be alert and especially careful driving through their natural habitat. Times to be extra careful when driving include at dusk and dawn, as these are times when wildlife are most active.

No distractions while driving

While driving on country roads, it is recommended to avoid checking devices such as your mobile phone or a GPS as they are distractions which can lead to collisions with wildlife. If you are riding passenger in the car, refrain from speaking until you pass through a high-risk animal road accident zone. This will allow you to be focused on the road and hazards present.

Two choices: Transport or report

If you happen to find an orphaned or injured young animal and can safely transport it, make sure to keep it warm and transport it to your nearest vet, Wildlife Hospital or reach out to your local wildlife rescue group for help.

If you sadly come across a dead animal, your local council will remove the body from the roadside.

When managing rescues on injured wildlife, RSPCA’s Rescue Teamremove deceased animals that have been pouch checked or mark them with paint for other rescuers to know that the animal has been checked for orphaned young.

If you come across an injured animal on the road, contact the RSPCA’s 24/7 Animal Emergency Hotline 1300 ANIMAL.

The time for a new Wildlife Hospital is now

It is no secret that our current RSPCA Wildlife Hospital is over capacity, having been built for 5,000 wildlife patients. In 2012, its first year of operation, it cared for over 8,300 patients.

12 years later, demand on our current facility in Brisbane has increased by an alarming 400%, with over 25,000 native animals a year being admitted for treatment and rehabilitation.

Future vision

Our future vision is that once built, a new state-of-the-art facility will unify innovative technology, enhanced abilities to care for wildlife and best practices.

It will also become Queensland’s Centre of Excellence for wildlife education and research, providing knowledge and leadership to jointly tackle prevalent challenges facing native animals every day.

Making the dream a reality

A project of this size needs an investment of more than $20 million to become a reality. RSPCA Queensland supporters have already done an amazing job by pledging generous philanthropic gifts towards the hospital build, contributing $3 million. The federal government have committed $5 million in a show of support for the new Wildlife Hospital and Centre of Excellence. Find out how you can support us.

Got a question?

Do you have questions about new Wildlife Hospital and Centre for Excellence? Visit our FAQs.

Jacobbe McBride
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