Feeding in damp weather

What ever-changing weather we are experiencing! The sun shone beautifully for the Sunshine Coast Show, which was a credit to its organizers. I could have sat there in the stands at Nambour for three days if time, and wildlife, had allowed. Nevertheless, I did enjoy my one day in there, and the opportunity to watch a brilliant live show by Mikayla Jade, the very talented trick rider and liberty performer. Her skills definitely extend way beyond wildlife caring!

The WILVOS hotline has had some interesting calls come through. One astounding incident saw a kookaburra viciously attacked by a rooster. Luckily he was spotted protecting his chook pen territory and the owner pulled them apart. The rooster had been pecking at the kookaburra’s mouth. Give me back my dinner? It was pouring rain at the time so it was one very sad kookaburra. After drying and warming him, a short time in care saw him back with his very grateful family.

Another caller spoke to me about the legality of feeding wildlife. It is always preferable not to feed wildlife, with a clean dish of water each day being a better option. On the other hand, in the recent wet weather, animals do have a struggle finding food. Unfortunately, when grain is fed, the damp weather can lead to it becoming wet and toxic, so it is best to just put the grain out for a short time and then bring in and discard leftovers. Even fruit can spoil so this advice really goes for all food placed out for wildlife. Bread should never be fed. The long term effects of bread feeding can be disastrous.

With the election looming it is hoped that future decision makers will consider our wildlife. Habitat destruction is the main threat to the future of wildlife, but unfortunately it is not of high priority with many who choose to ignore this in favour of short term economic gains.

Every vote is important so we can all make each one count towards what is important for our families and for their future.

Education and caring

Not all our WILVOS 5441 6200 Hotline calls are about Australian native animals. We will receive calls for different animals in different situations. The animal’s welfare is always important, even in the case of a feral animal. If WILVOS cannot help directly, we can point people in the right direction for assistance.

Education on both wildlife awareness and domestic pet ownership is very important and our community awareness officer, Roslyn, is very busy with her presentations at schools and community groups. There is a wonderful program initiated by the Australian Veterinary Association called the Pets and People Education Program, better known as PetPEP, which is available to everyone in the community. Roslyn works with their presenters at the schools, often with an RSPCA representative there as well. The three people rotate through the classes, giving students an insight into our unique wildlife, responsible pet ownership and animal safety and welfare issues. Roslyn finds these school visits especially rewarding as it is educating our future generations on considerations for all animals.

We are very fortunate to have such wonderful veterinarians on the Sunshine Coast. David Dawe of the Blanck Street Vet Surgery in Maroochydore has given up time on his Saturday afternoons to instruct WILVOS carers in initial bird assessment, with advice on such issues as stabilizing fractures and crop feeding. I have been to scores of training workshops over the years but this intensive couple of hours was up there with the best.

On the marsupial side, Charlotte of the Woombye Vet Surgery has once again saved the life of another ‘pinkie’ (furless) Swamp Wallaby. Sustaining a fractured leg and tail after his mother was killed by a car, this little treasure is recovering well, and the outlook is very promising.

With so many domestic animals to care for, the work done by our local veterinary surgeons on wildlife is most appreciated.