Gather foliage for possums each afternoon

It is that time of year again when the WILVOS hotline 5441 6200 is at its busiest in the late afternoon. Our wildlife that begins to move about at dusk suddenly finds increased traffic to contend with. Approaching darkness coincides with the time that workers are heading home. The down side of the lovely cool weather!

Our hotline also receives a few bogus calls, which is a little sad that people would interrupt the lives of people who are caring for our wildlife in some way. On the other hand, it is also a little sad that anyone feels the need to do this. Never one to waste an opportunity to educate a caller on our wildlife, by the time I’ve finished talking they are ready to beat a hasty retreat and go and annoy someone else!

Our native animals will all benefit from the recent rain and it is hoped winter will be mild and not subject everyone to the extremes of the last summer. Many animals that came into care in the heat were suffering dehydration and needed urgent assistance.

It is much easier to gather foliage for possums each afternoon when there is so much new growth. My lovely neighbours brought me a huge amount of syzygium foliage one rainy afternoon so what my ringtail possums lost on variety that night was made up for by the quantity of fresh green leaftip. Our possums need the freshest foliage possible so foraging for a big variety of native foliage is always a late afternoon excursion. Moisture is lost very quickly once branches and leaves are cut, and it is up to we as wildlife rehabilitators to provide the very best quality each afternoon.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Bilby chocolates at Easter. As usual I left my shopping to the last minute and raced into the Nambour Post Office for the Fyna chocolates which meant a donation to the Save the Bilby Fund for each purchase. The staff are always so friendly and helpful there and said I could have my Bilbies for half price. That meant of course that I could buy twice as many!

This week, it would be nice if everyone could plant a native shrub in honour of Anzac Day.

A donation to the Save the Bilby Fund

Our thoughts have been with those who have suffered from the intensity of Cyclone Debbie. Such a large-scale disaster effects so many. I was one of the lucky ones with power off only for two short stints. My phone was out for four days but I could drive down the road a few kilometres and pick up messages once a day. My apologies to those who tried to reach me.

Power outages are a concern when ‘pinkie’ (furless) wildlife are in care. These little animals need constant warmth and if the humidicrib is dependent on power, it is a worry. Such situations always make me wonder about Australia’s resistance to solar power. The people want it, the dinosaur governments aren’t quite so enthusiastic, still seeing solar as a threat (to the coffers?), and therefore removing incentives. Solar power storage is inevitable, but houses will mostly remain connected to the grid so electricity retailers still win out. They charge their fixed fee but have to provide us with so much less power. Seems like we all win out!

I guess all life experiences are tied in with wildlife in my world, and after a long hot summer and bushfires, followed by a cyclone and floods, our native animals are also needing help all around Australia. With Easter on our doorstep it is time to help the Bilbies by buying chocolates from Fyna Foods. All sales mean a donation to the Save the Bilby Fund. Their Australian Bush Friends collection of chocolates at Australia Post is adorable. These, along with the Pink Lady Bilby chocolates, can be purchased through most Department Stores. It always seems ludicrous that rabbits are bought instead of Bilbies at Easter time!

Have a safe and happy Easter. Our WILVOS hotline 5441 6200 will be operating 24 hours a day as always, when wildlife advice is needed.