Drive slowly and safely

Firstly, I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to retiring MP Mal Brough and to Australia Zoo for their recognition of volunteers with a free day at the zoo on Sunday 15th May. I spent a very relaxing couple of hours there, just walking around, sitting in the Crocoseum and especially enjoying the birds in free flight. With the continuing habitat destruction across the world, zoos and wildlife refuges are the only hope of preventing extinction of many species.

I didn’t think I’d be able to make it out to the Zoo as a call had come in about a kangaroo hit by a car. The driver was understandably upset, especially as there was a joey in the pouch. The report came through that the joey was pink but still fairly big. Lovely WILVOS member Roslyn from Pomona said she would pick up the joey and bring it to me, while I finished feeding my wildlife at home. As it turned out, the joey was the size of a jelly bean and I didn’t have my magic wand at hand! Then it occurred to me that there may have still been a larger joey, so the caller was contacted again but she assured us there was only the one little one and had hoped we could save it. Pink furless animals are saveable but a jelly bean sized kangaroo joey is pushing the boundaries! So I headed off for my afternoon of relaxation.

With the early darkness that comes with the winter months, WILVOS 5441 6200 Hotline sees more road impact injuries and deaths with our wildlife. It is now dark as people drive home from work and it is the same time as our nocturnal and crepuscular animals emerge to feed.

Consequently, it is a time of year when we get more calls about kangaroos and wallabies hit by cars. One of our volunteers was asked to go out to check the pouch of a dead wallaby by the side of the road. When Bob found the wallaby he said it was a pretty sad sight to see another large wallaby standing forlornly beside it. Being a mob animal they do grieve the loss of one of their own.

If you want to know more about Australian wildlife, WILVOS presenter Roslyn will be visiting your local library in the next month to give a talk. Roslyn can answer your questions and explain things such as why you shouldn’t relocate echidnas. More people are discovering these exquisite animals in their back yards in this cooler weather. Just check out your local newspaper or the Council website for when Roslyn will be at your local library.

Ask for help when needed

The WILVOS 24/7 Hotline – 5441 6200 – has had some interesting calls about possums lately. Our phone roster volunteers do an amazing job of finding the right person nearby to handle the different situations.

One caller in Yandina had a possum trapped in his car grille. The impact had actually opened the space wide enough that the possum went in there and suddenly found itself in a cage without a door!

There was no way of getting the poor animal out without removing the grille so WILVOS’ Sylvia to the rescue. The very obliging local mechanics in Yandina kindly removed the grille, but once that was done they stepped very quickly out of the way so Sylvia could wrestle the possum! It was not a happy animal. Nevertheless, now it is back with its family I’m sure it is truly grateful!

A few days later, a very distressed lady called from Woombye. There was a possum caught in a fence with a joey on its back. One of the neighbours told her it had been there all night. I initially thought it may have been the barbaric barbed wire which leads to the torturous death of so many animals. It was actually a Colorbond fence. One of our WILVOS carers lived not too far away and raced over immediately. Meanwhile a few of the neighbours had organized themselves and with pushing and pulling the metal in different directions, the possum was able to escape and scarper up a tree.

When Denise arrived, the possum was in the tree asleep with her youngster, with only skin abrasions on her tail. The people involved said that the possum hung onto the joey through it all. At one stage she was just holding on to it by its little tail. What a wonderful Mum.

WILVOS are forever grateful for the members of the public who phone and ask for help when our wildlife finds itself in such situations.