Last week I was on my way to a site in North Mayo to do some survey work. Travelling the road between Castlebar and Bangor Eris, I drove past two fellow ecologists Gavin Fennessy and Katharine Kelleher. Both were standing on the roadside with a bewildered look on their faces. As I travelled along the road I decided to phone Gavin to make sure all was well. He informed me that they had just came upon a Pine Marten that had been knocked down by a car, and that the kittens were gathering around the dead mother. I immediately turned my jeep around and went back to see the kits. Gavin and Katharine had pulled the dead mother off the road and placed her under cover next to the road verge. The kittens were coming back to suckle off the dead mother and all were worried that the little kittens would end up knocked down like the mother. Fortunately the local NPWS Rangers caught the young kits later that afternoon and brought them into care.
Young Pine Marten kittens suckling off their dead mother © John N Murphy