Friday, 26 September 2008

Baby Animal Rescue - and a new challenge

This morning I noticed a dead animal lying on the road outside our place, on closer inspection it was to see a baby wallaby struggling to get out of the pouch. The dog was quickly restrained and we went in for a closer inspection. Mum was long gone and cold, and the wee fellow, while he had his eyes open was completely hairless, this is not a good sign. Still, we weren't going to give up on him and a few phone calls later we'd found someone living 10km away that we could take him too. First we had to get a knife and cut him out of the pouch and straight into Caleb's fur lined hat, then a dash off in the warm car with Caleb cradling him in the backseat. We had the chance for a long discussion around the amount of dead wildlife we see on the road in Tasmania. Since we've been in Tassie we've taken two wallabies, one with a broken leg and this little guy, plus an injured parrot and the bandicoot that got caught in chook wire through to animal hospitals, parks and wildlife and carers. We know that people around here see anything on the road as fair game ... a game of seeing if you can run it over... whether you're a fair shot with your front wheels. It's infuriating to hear about, to see and to be able to do nothing. So when we dropped this fellow off we decided that we're going to become wildlife carers, all three of us. Caleb's wanted to do something like this for a while but thought he'd have to wait till he was an adult. But I don't see any reason we can't start now. So we'll be contacting Parks and Wildlife to see how we go about getting some training and a permit.

Here's the Tassie link - if anyone has any others they know of for Australia or elsewhere, please share. Looking after wildlife is one way to protect biodiversity and to try to alleviate, to some extend the wholesale massacre of native animals on our roads and highways. Tassie wildlife caring information

About 34,000 native animals are killed on Australian roads every day.15 Multiply this by 365 days of the year – and you get a very large number in the millions! Their pouch young often die slowly from the cold or starvation if they survive the initial collision.

Dr Daniel Ramp, Road Ecology Research Group, University of New South Wales, personal comment.


Toria said...

Here's the link for WIRES in NSW -

Bev said...

When we drove around Tassie in the mid-90's I was amazed at the amount of dead wildlife on the roads compared to what we'd see here in Victoria (which is bad enough).

I assumed it was due to just having more wildlife to run over, compared to the scarcity here.

I really can't understand the mentality of people who deliberately run over an animal on the road.

I remember an article in the Land for Wildlife newsletter (I think it was) where an experiment was done in the US with fake rubber snakes, etc, on roads. Many people got out of their cars, pulled out a gun and shot the (rubber) snake. Others deliberately crossed onto the opposite side of the road to run over it.

Anyway, all credit to the three of you for taking up wildlife caring. It's a lot of work but very rewarding.

dianne said...

You are so lucky to be able to do this. I have wonted to do it since I was 5. still waiting, will happen some day when we get more room. hope all goes well and will be waiting for all the new posts about who you are looking after. and pics.

han_ysic said...

Good on you. Hope you have fun doing your training. Sounds like a great thing to do as a family.

Linda said...

Thanks Toria, and Bev, you've given me a great idea, love to do the snake thing in Tassie. What great statistics to publish about how we deal with wildlife. I'd hate to imagine how many people would respond to a Tiger snake.

Linda said...

We rang up last week to ask how the wee wallaby went, unfortunately it developed an infection five days after and died. The woman had three baby bandicoots she was rearing and said she'd hope to get them through.
We've found out how expensive the process of being a carer is - and it's something we're not in any position to afford at the moment, and time is an issue to. Once the house is build (a phrase used around here constantly) we'll be able to become carers. Till then we'll be relying on the wonderful people like Rosie from Dover to do the hard work for us.

Willo said...

I am living in the North East of Tassie after 13 years of wildlife caring in NSW. I stick to birds now though few come into the system here in Tassie. Few people find them as attractive as the wee furries.
I would be happy to have a yarn about what the reality of this kind of care entails if you are ever interested Linda.
It is a lot of heartache with some moments of reward and throws up philosophical problems about what the real consequences of our caring impulses may be.

Anonymous said...

I recently assisted a pademelon whose mum had thrown her from the pouch. She was only 300gms. It is not as easy as many people think to raise a mammal orphaned wild animal, and ensure that it keeps it's wild nature. Many of us tend to talk to them to much, keep them in noisy environments, handle them too much, love them to much. I was so impressed with the information and support I was given by the Department of primary industry and water in Hobart (thanks Mary). I fed my orphan 3rd hourly 24hours, it could take up to 40 mins - hour from warming, to clean up after feeding. Each feed. So I was only getting a sleep of two hours. Getting the orphan to wee and poo, cleaning her, and than putting her safe and sound back in her quite warm pouch

It cost me $21 for my supplies, and I need more. Fotunately I had on hand lots of old pure cotton sheets and pillow cases(flanelette, which i cut up and trimmed. to make wraps. A woollen beanie was her pouch within a felted surround and in a pillow case(nights very cool at the time).
I to am a admireer of the carers and if my work place did not have an animal free policy I would have continued to care for her.