Cute but Deadly: Wombat Scurries onto Road
The typical animals drivers see on American roads are deer, opossum, and raccoons. However, in Australia, native animals such as koalas, dingos, and emus are often the disastrous victims of road incidents. It is estimated that 1 in 7 road accidents involve wildlife there. With kangaroos as the animal most involved with car crashes, the second place spot is held by wombats. Unfortunately, this is not a ranking that should be bragged about.
Be Prepared: Road Hazard Protection
Last week, a car in the Riverina gradually rolled over in an attempt to dodge a wombat that appeared out of the night like the magical creature that it is. This incident was captured on a dashcam as the wombat bolted out, much to the humans’ anticipated protests. The brand new ute was shattered from its roll that played out in slow motion, but both driver and passenger thankfully escaped from the battered car without an injury — as did the wombat.
Wildlife roadside accidents are through the roof in Australia. Should an animal run out in front of you on the road, Craig Glasson, a panel beater, advises, “Drop your headlight stand and hit the brakes and don’t swerve.”
So, if you’re driving through Australia, keep an eye out for these beloved marsupials during the night. But if worst comes to worst, listen to Glasson and hope for the best. With diligent driving, hopefully the only prominent standing a wombat holds will be in your heart.
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Angela Lin is a Dayton native who is currently a student at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) majoring in English and the Environment. She is a copy editor for The Michigan Daily, an arts reviewer for [art]seen, and an indie music blogger for downinthepit. When she isn’t reading and writing for fun or for school or for work, she enjoys listening to any and all music, going to see musicals, playing the piano, spontaneous adventures followed by peace and quiet, and talking about wombats. Seriously, ask her about wombats.