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I find our Australian laws for cruelty to animals are appalling.   This latest  terrible treatment of an echidna was a prime example.  The culprit should have been fined, jailed and then deported.

In Australia we have the most unique exquisite wildlife.  We are so lucky.  Visitors from other countries tell us of their desolate landscapes, where wildlife has disappeared over the centuries,  and they marvel at our native animals.

I never tire of observing our unique wildlife.  My squirrel gliders are now ready for  their last step into a huge aviary which will allow them to glide and build up their muscles.  The rehabilitation process can be a long haul so it is always wonderful to see them so healthy and eating their natural native diets.  Survival out there in the wild isn’t easy so they have to be at their best.  The days of keeping animals in little cages, and then releasing them into a hectare or two of habitat, are long gone, thank goodness.

Gliders eat an amazing amount of insects so they really help us by cutting down on populations of insects when there is an oversupply.  Mosquitos, cockroaches, moths, beetles and grasshoppers are just a few of the insects they like to eat.  Where habitats have been destroyed, the lack of food and housing for gliders often means that the remaining forest suffers as a result.  Bugs chomp through foliage and borers attack the branches and trunks of trees.  We need our wildlife to keep the balance.

Everyone can help.  Be careful driving, and  check wildlife that have been hit by cars.  The animal may need veterinary help or it may have pouched young.  Containing our pets means that our local native animals have a safe environment in our yard and we are privileged to then have so much wildlife visit.  Replacing barbed wire with plain wire saves so many lives.  Just starting with that top strand can make a huge difference.

Think of what you can do to conserve our beautiful native species.

Donna Brennan Wildlife Volunteers Assoc Inc (WILVOS) PO Box 4805 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre  Q  4560  PH  5441 6200  www.wilvos.org.au