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Great Southern drivers urged to watch out for blind kangaroos

The Department of Parks and Wildlife is urging people to be vigilant when driving in and around the Great Southern area due to kangaroos that may be displaying abnormal behaviour as a result of a virus that causes blindness.

District wildlife officer Mel Rowley said the choroid virus was transmitted to western grey kangaroos through mosquito and midge bites.

“Since April, the department has recorded four cases of kangaroos showing signs of blindness believed to have been caused by the virus, however there are likely to have been many more similar cases which were never reported” she said.

“The kangaroos affected by the virus appear to be uncoordinated and stumble into bushes, fences and other objects, particularly when disturbed. They are also usually extremely distressed.

“As there is no known cure for the virus, the infected animals are not able to be treated and in the majority of cases they have to be euthanased as it is the most humane option.

“In some instances, joeys have also had to be rescued due to the ill health of their mother.”

Ms Rowley encouraged people to drive with caution particularly through Narrogin, Williams and Highbury, and near bushland.

“If you see an injured kangaroo please contact the department for advice,” she said.

To report any sightings or other wildlife related incidents please call the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055 or the department’s Narrogin office on 9881 9200.

Media contact: Parks and Wildlife Media 9219 9999