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Koala ‘kill zone’ on Heathcote Road south of Sydney, dangerous for rescuers and marsupials

Wildlife volunteers working in Sydney’s southern tip said they were worried not only for the koalas they were trying to save, but also for their own safety.

Michelle Wallis, Sutherland WIRES coordinator, said the lack of signage on Heathcote Road, the main highway linking south-west Sydney to the Illawarra River, made the already difficult task of parking on narrow, dark roads even more dangerous. said.

She said two koalas died this month after being hit by a car on a road just 200 meters away.

“We found that the cars were traveling very fast in the area. We are trying to slow the cars down at night,” she said.

Most koalas roam the roads around sunrise and sunset when they are most active.

Wallis said most of the road from Princess Highway in Engadine to Sandy Point near Holsworthy Barracks is “known as the ‘Kill Zone'”.

“The two people killed in the last two weeks were near Wollonora Bridge, so that’s Heathcote Road Engadine,” she said.

“Just three weeks ago, another one was killed near Sandy Point.”


Wallis said there were few signs or flashing lights, and the narrow roads near the bridge made it almost impossible to pull over.

“During our rescue about a year ago, we had to actually drive up a small hill, a dirt hill, and it was parked just off the road,” she said. rice field.

“We don’t have signs on our cars, so it’s very difficult to tell people what we’re doing.”

Koala deaths increase

Katherine Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the Sutherland Shire Environmental Center, said there had been a marked increase in the number of koala deaths reported on Heathcote Road in recent years.

“Recent incidents bring the multi-generational koala kill count to about 25 across the state,” Dr. Reynolds said.

“Out of a population of maybe 200, this is important.

“In 2021, along with seven other organizations, we have submitted a petition to NSW Transport for koala traffic mitigation at this site.”

Local resident Christy Walker was recently driving home along Heathcote Road when she saw a koala being run over.

The decision to withdraw still haunts her.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-06-30/southern-sydney-s-heathcote-road-nsw-koala-kill-zone-dangerous/102533846 Koala ‘kill zone’ on Heathcote Road south of Sydney, dangerous for rescuers and marsupials

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