24 Hours – Roo Watch
Matt Priestly is the MD of MGP Feral Animal Control Services
Pty. Ltd., and he was the man called in last year to try to ensure
no 'mishaps' between race cars and kangaroos.
What a European
couldn't reasonably be expected to know is that drivers on public
roads here can be killed after an impact with a kangaroo - if, for
example, the beast goes through the windscreen.
will be frightened and probably injured, and it can thrash out and
kill the occupants of a car."
So Matt bluntly
explained that it's better to hit the animal at a faster speed than
usually found on the Australian highways - but not too fast.
kangaroo problem here at Mount Panorama is most likely to arise
during the (currently ongoing) 20.50 - 21.50 evening session, because
kangaroos are most likely to be on the move within two hours of
dawn and dusk - and by tomorrow, the daft animals should be aware
of race traffic constantly confronting them on their usual route
across this area. This evening, there could be less traffic on the
track - and this is the first time the animals will have come across
Ferraris etc. within the time period stated above.
are being taken though.
see kangaroos on the move, they will notify race control,"
says Matt Priestly. "In addition, as we did last year, we have
electronic devices placed in the most likely areas, to frighten
off the kangaroos. And by tomorrow, we'll have 18 of the race cars
fitted with sonic animal repellers."
So we'll have
to hope that this evening's session passes without incident: in
particular, that a mob of 50 of the buggers doesn't decide to cross
this narrow strip of tarmac. They do travel in a mob of around 50,