Beware, we share roads with nature

2015-07-21 06:00
Motorists have been urged to slow down after a number of animals, like a Cape grysbok, were killed near nature reserves.

Motorists have been urged to slow down after a number of animals, like a Cape grysbok, were killed near nature reserves.

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Motorists need to be more vigilant and reduce their speed when driving near nature reserves, especially at night, to avoid knocking down animals when they cross the roads, often unexpectedly, the council has warned.

Recently a caracal and Cape grysbok were killed, and over the last year various animals, including tortoises, Cape cobras, mole snakes, small-spotted genets and porcupines, have been killed.

In most cases, animals are hesitant to cross roads because it is a foreign environment to them so they will often do so suddenly and unexpectedly, explains Johan van der Merwe, mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and spatial planning.

“The challenge is two-fold: Many of the motorists are not aware that they are driving through these proclaimed nature reserve areas, while at the same time many of the animals are nocturnal, so it makes it difficult for motorists to see the animals at night when they unexpectedly cross the roads searching for food,” he says.

Motorists are urged to slow down and adhere to speed restrictions, particularly at night, when the nocturnal animals are most at risk, Van der Merwe says.

“It is sad that over the past few months there has been an increase in the number of animals being killed, particularly along Otto du Plessis Drive and the R27 as well as Ou Kaapse Weg,” he says.

“Capetonians are fortunate to share this city with a range of unique plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. We have a responsibility to ensure that we conserve and protect our biodiversity. The loss of a single animal can have a significant impact on the environment.”

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