Carers stories 2013
On this page
we will keep you informed about animals that you have brought in to
care with WIRES Northern Rivers branch. If you would like to know about
a particular animal, please email us, and we will do what we can to
keep you up to date.
Thank you Genevieve from Barkers Vale for stopping to check the pouch of a dead wallaby on the road.
Without you this little lady would not be alive and thriving today.
She is a Red-Necked Pademelon and her weight is 340 gram. She is just under 4 months old and very much dependant on her mum for survival.
She will be in care for 6-7 months before she is ready to make it in the big wild world on her own.
Calls for Flying Fox pups in trouble are still coming in to WIRES hotline daily.
These images are of fFebruary 21, 2014.
WIRES is very busy with flying-foxes: calls are coming in every day.
Flying-foxes, or bats, are nature’s gardeners. They are the only pollinators and long-distance carriers of seeds to enable the growth of particular hardwood trees. Every time we enter a rainforest we should offer thanks to these incredible creatures for the pollination without which the trees would not exist.
No bats, no forests.
They feed hanging upside down, separating the pith from fruit and swallowing juice and nectar. Flying-foxes are often maligned for eating fruit crops but they much prefer the blossom of native trees and small amounts of insects. They seek out fruit only when other food sources have been depleted. They may fly up to 100km at night in search of food while carrying their young.
In our area, most Grey-Headed Flying-Foxes and Black Flying-Foxes are born between September and December. The pup attaches itself to mum's nipple (located under the wing) and accompanies her everywhere. The most common causes of injuries are electrocution on power lines, getting caught in netting on fruit trees and entanglement on barbed wire fences. Also, babies are often separated from their mothers and found alone: they cannot survive without human assistance. This year, many others are simply heat stressed.
You can help by selecting appropriate netting and using it properly. Peg the nets at ground level. A piece of split poly pipe on barbed wire risk spots, such as adjacent to fruit trees, can prevent many prolonged and painful deaths.
If you spot an orphaned, injured or trapped flying-fox, members of the public are warned not to handle bats but to call WIRES. A trained volunteer will safely rescue the animal and carers will nurse the bats until they have recovered and can be released.
Interestingly, flying-foxes are the only wildlife species which benefit from forming a bond with a human. WIRES have to be careful not to humanise all other wildlife species. Flying-foxes, however, bond with their human carer for the first 10 weeks of life then just like human teenagers, only want to mix with their own kind and are no longer interested in their primary carers. The young flying-foxes are soon flying free.
An all-volunteer organisation, WIRES relies heavily on the generosity of caring people for support as it is a charity, not a government service. If you are interested, call the 24-hour hotline on 6628 1898 or click here to find out how you can help.
Man resuscitates wallaby
UPDATE 4 November
Image by Renata Phelps
Lucky has been in a large enclosure for some time now. After the initial shock of being orphaned, chased into the water, resuscitated and brought into care he has made friends and is part of a group of orphans growing up together.
He is able to learn from others and behave as he would had in the wild, exploring and flicking his tail when excited, learning how to hide when a kookaburra makes certain call, an older swamp wallaby may stomp the ground meaning a snake is nearby. These things are vital for his survival in the wild, all of which can only be taught by his own kind.
The memory is most likely still there from that fateful day, but life is great and exciting once again.
He no longer has physical contact with his carer, he is still having a bottle three times a day but stands proud and hops of once finished.
Lucky is seen here with his good friend Kia, his other friends Electra and Tabby did not want to be included in this photo so watched from nearby.
Mick Hussin of Frankton in Victoria was in Byron Bay for a leisurely holiday. Last Saturday, while sitting on a verandah at Belongil Creek, he spotted a group of dogs chasing a small animal on the opposite bank. The poor creature jumped into the creek and swam for its life. Mick leapt into action, running down to the creek to help out with the escape. The young wallaby floundered and sank before reaching safety.
Without hesitation, Mick jumped into the creek and pulled the wallaby to the beach where it lay limp and apparently drowned. Mick had completed a CPR course required for his work as Victoria state manager of Freedom Kitchens. He decided to give it a try on the young wallaby.
After 10 minutes of effort, the wallaby's hands started to move. Mick says it was the greatest feeling when he saw those hands move.
He dried the wallaby thoroughly and then wrapped him in a makeshift pouch and kept him close to his body for warmth. Lynne from WIRES picked him up and little Lucky, a 1600-gram swamp wallaby joey, is now in care with Renata and Don and recovering nicely.
It is not the first time that Mick has rescued a hopeless case. Ten years ago, he pulled a tiny body from a puddle and took it to the vet. Against the vet's judgment, Mick insisted on giving the puppy a chance. Today, the 68-kilo Great Dane-Rottweiler cross, also named Lucky, is a healthy and happy member of Mick's family.
Lucky with his rescuer Mick
Lucky 4 days after his ordeal, in care with WIRES carers Renata and Don
We certainly know it is Echidna breeding season in the Northern Rivers, yet another Echidna puggle has come in to care this time from Ettrick near Kyogle.
The little one fell out of mums “pouch” after mum echidna had been disturbed by a dog. The dog owner hoped that the little puggle would be able to get back into the pouch but as far as we know puggles are not able to climb back in once out of the pouch.
Echidnas do not actually have a permanent pouch; instead they have contracting muscles in their abdomen, which forms a pouch-like fold. The puggle stays in the “pouch” for approximately 2.5 months until it starts to develop spines, at which time mum will leave it under a pile of mulch, hollow log, burrow or any suitable sheltered space. She returns to feed the puggle every few days.
If the puggle as in this instance falls out of the “ pouch” it is as far as we know lost, as mum cannot pick it up and the pouch-like fold will not stay in position.
This little puggle now named Etrick was left where the dog owner first found it close to mum, he returned the next day to find it still there alone.
Our puggle specialist Leoni was contacted as soon WIRES member Jane had picked up the little fellow and he/she is now in care with Leoni. Etricks weight is only 90 gram when in fact it should be around 200 gram. He is in other words in big trouble but he is in good hands and Leoni is doing everything possible to save his life.
Should you find a puggle please call our hotline immediately on 66281898, these animals are extremely heat sensitive and need specialist care as soon as possible. Our hotline will give you advice on what to do until help arrives.
For stories and updates on puggles in care please click here.
This tiny Pademelon joey was brought in to Casino vet clinic last week, he is in good condition and settling in well.
His weight is a mere 250gram and his fur is yet to grow, he has a long way to go before he is ready for the big wide world.
For now he is spending his time tucked well in to his substitute pouch, being fed four hourly and mostly sleeping in between.
He is seen here just after a bottle of special wallaby formula having a look at the world he is now finding himself in, so very different to what he was used to with his mum.
Once his fur comes through he will join other joeys in care.
Caniaba has been recognised as a wildlife hotspot after residents made representations to Lismore City Council. As a result, Council agreed to erect Wildlife Crossing signs on Caniaba Road and Fredericks Road.
The ridge from Parrots Nest through Caniaba towards Lismore is a wildlife corridor with many species of wildlife regularly seen in this area. Unfortunately many animals come to grief on the road in this wildlife hotspot.
WIRES has logged the following animals for this area: red-necked wallabies, swamp wallabies, echidnas, bandicoots, koalas, lizards, snakes and many species of birds. Residents are urged to slow down and watch for wildlife.
Our puggle specialist Leoni is being kept busy with yet another Echidna puggle coming into care this morning. This little one was found alone in a garden at Homeleigh, trying to escape the morning sun by digging into the soil.
Homie as he/she has been named has bruises on his back, side and feet, how that has happened we do not know. Weight is a mere 389 grams.
Homie has now been rehydrated and settled down for a well deserved sleep.
How Homie was orphaned we do not know as mum echidna was not seen. A puggle this size would still be safely tucked in to mums " pouch" as spines are not yet long enough for mum to put her youngster in a burrow.
The heat of the sun is an enemy to a little puggle like this as they are extremely heat sensitive. How lucky Homie was found early in the day before the sun intensified.
Leoni now has three puggles in care all more of less the same size. All are being tube fed as they are yet too small to drink by themselves.
Please remember to call WIRES immediately if finding an animal in distress, it can mean the difference between life and death for an animal such as this little puggle.
Images by Lib Ruytenberg
Ian from Chilcotts Grass called WIRES immediately when he found this little 160 gram Echidna puggle walking on his concrete driveway in the full sun.
What has happened to mum is not known, this little one should still have been in mums "pouch"
Echidnas are heat sensitive, please be aware that Echidnas currently are likely to have a young in the "pouch" , if you should accidentally hit an Echidna please check nearby for a puggle that may have rolled out.
WIRES NR Echidna puggle intensive care specialist Leoni is currently doing everything in her power to cool the little one down, he/she is in trouble as being in the direct sun for possibly extended time had severely compromised the health of this tiny animal. We will keep you updated.
If you should find a puggle, please ensure it is kept cool until help has arrived, an ice brick in weather like we are currently experiencing must be close by the puggle in order to keep it cool. You can place the puggle in a jumper and an ice brick close by, do not put the puggle directly on the ice brick.
Temperatures above 30 degrees are fatal for this species.
Animal lover and wildlife watcher Colleen from Casino has contacted WIRES numerous times in the past when she has found native animals or birds in distress. Recently, she told us about an unusual visitor to her garden -- an albino kookaburra. The kookaburra visited her garden sometimes with a family group but was often on its own.
Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers. The name is thought to be a loanword from Wiradjuri guuguubarra, a word that sounds like the bird's call.
Kookaburras live in family groups but it is common for many species to shun members of their groups who are different because their unusual appearance can attract predators. These individuals are likely to be lonely and struggle to find food on their own.
Albinos usually have pale eyes and poor eyesight: those active during the day are inhibited in their ability to find food and avoid predators. Casino's bird is mostly white but has slight coloration and its eyes are dark and its eyesight is very good.
Our Casino albino is doubly fortunate: Colleen reports that another kookaburra has become a companion so hopefully they are now a pair. It will be interesting to see if any offspring are hatched and whether they will have the unusual coloring.
Kookaburras eat lizards, snakes, insects, mice and small birds. The most social birds will accept handouts from humans and will even take raw or cooked meat from or near open-air barbecues left unattended. It is not advised to feed birds meat as it does not include calcium and other nutrients essential to maintain their health. Remainders of mince on the bird's beak can fester and cause serious health problems.
Images by Melanie Barsony
||A female Figbird was tangled in a tree at a pre-school in Casino by a small piece of fruit tree netting that must have become caught in her feet during her travels.
|WIRES carer Melanie taped her handsaw to the end of an extension pole and was able to saw through the branch where the bird was trapped, while someone stood by ready to catch the bird.
||The figbird's leg was completely severed by the netting, but she was still totally entangled and trapped.
After being freed she was taken straight to the Casino Vet Clinic where she was humanely euthanased due to severe injury caused by the netting.
Please ensure you discard rubbish such as netting responsibly, many native animals are injured daily by what we have left unattended / discarded with little thought to how it may affect other creatures in the future.
Images by Jenny Du Frocq
Please be aware that many female native animals are currently carrying young. This little Echidna puggle came in to care last night after mum echidna was hit by a car at Byron Bay. The motorist stopped to check on the Echidna and noticed a little grey blob nearby. It was the puggle that mum Echidna had been carrying in her "pouch"
The Echidna does not have a permanent pouch, her pouch develops when she lays her egg, once the egg has hatched in her pouch she carries the puggle in her pouch until spines start to develop. The puggle is then left in a burrow dug by mum, she comes back to feed her young every few days.
Please take care on our roads and if you should accidentally hit an Echidna please check for a puggle nearby.
Little Byron has a long way to go, he/she is very young, currently in care with WIRES Echidna puggle intensive carer Leoni.
Mum Echidna is severely injured, her fate is not yet clear but all is being done to save her life.
Thank you Mark for calling WIRES.
This little Red-Necked wallaby came in to care after her mum was hit by a car at Pearces Creek. Joey fell out of the pouch on impact and mum wallaby disappeared in to the bush.
Mark collected the joey and she has since been in care with WIRES macropod carer Jodie.
She will be in care for approximately 9 months before being released back to the wild.
Bethany called WIRES when she came across a wallaby hit by a car at Richmond Hill 7 July. Mum wallaby was dead but a live joey was in the pouch.
The little female joey was taken in to care by WIRES macropod carer Katy. The joey was not yet furred and weighing only 420 gram.
Now 6 weeks later she has grown some fur, she is starting to show great interest in the world around her and she has been transferred to WIRES carer Jane.
Jane has other joey's in care at various stages of development, and this little Swamp wallaby is now becoming part of the little family on the road back to the wild.
It will be many months yet until she is ready for release, but in the mean time she is learning all she needs to know from the other wallabies in care.
All are in a large outside enclosure, here they hop in and out of their pouches at their own leisure, exploring and learning the sounds of the bush. When the kookaburras are heard they all hurry back to their pouches where they feel secure.
Jane arrives in the enclosure at 4 hourly intervals where all are waiting eagerly for their bottles. Life is once again exciting.
By Melanie Barsony
A local Casino doctor thought there had been a break in when she arrived at the surgery to find a mess and things all over the place. The culprit was in fact a fairly large carpet python who had entered through a small hole near the ceiling and spent the night trying to find its way out again.
Snake handler Melanie released the relieved snake at the nearby river bank.
This beautiful Noisy Pitta came into WIRES care after being found entangled in a toy soccer net
The brightly coloured bird was spotted by Didier & his son Zac who untangled him and rang WIRES for help. The adult birds wing was slightly swollen and a few days of care was needed. The Pitta was keen to get back to his rainforest home and was an impatient patient while in care.
Several days later when his wing was ok he was returned to the forest from where he came. Didier said “It was a great sight to see him fly through the undergrowth into his home territory. A wondrous sight to see.”
The Noisy Pitta (Pitta versicolour) is one of those iconic birds found in the rainforests along Australia’s east coast. The Pitta is a bird of the forest floor where it rummages through the leaf litter for the insects, woodlice, snails and other invertebrates on which it feeds. It bobs its head up and down and flicks its tail from side to side while it forages. They are very shy in nature and if lucky you may spy one foraging through the leaf litter. They are a brightly coloured small bird that breeds in Oct-Dec, making a domed nest of twigs, leaves and moss which is lined with feathers. The nests are usually concealed on the ground between the buttress roots of our rainforest giants. 2-4 whitey-blue speckled eggs are produced in early summer.
Keep an eye out for them when you next visit the rainforest and you may just be lucky enough to see one of our most colorful Aussie birds.
Thanks Didier & Zac for acting so quickly and saving the birds life. The lesson they have learnt is that all netting can be hazardous to our Aussie birds.
By Sharon McGrigor
WIRES is starting to get an increased number of call outs and enquires about Echidnas. Now that the rain has stopped both the male and the younger dispersing juvenile Echidnas are emerging from their winter semi-hibernation. Females will emerge shortly and the ‘mating game’ will commence. This is when we are likely to see ‘Echidna Trains’. An Echidna train is formed by amorous males forming a line behind the female, hoping to mate with her. This is often confused as a female with her young in tow. Not the case as a female will only have one young Puggle which she hides away in a burrow.
WIRES is asking the public to be vigilant at this time of the year. Too many deaths occur as these curious creatures attempt to cross roads. We also receive many enquiries from the public about Echidnas in their garages and yards. The best thing to do is to restrain your dogs and leave the Echidna to move off by itself- This will usually occur at dusk or under the cover of night, when all is quiet. Let neighbors know that an Echidna is in the area so they too can restrain their pets.
As Echidnas are shy animals, you can enjoy watching them foraging in your yard if you hide inside and watch them from a window. They are looking for termites or ants and in that way they are helping reduce your termite problems. If you find an injured Echidna please ring the WIRES hotline for help on 6628 1898.
On 8 August little Gypsy Rose was orphaned in Nimbin when her mum was killed by a car. She was a mere 330 gram not yet furred but her eyes were wide open wondering what had just happened to change her life. She was lucky, a passing motorist stopped knowing a dead wallaby on or near the road could be a female and if so may have a live joey in the pouch.
She is doing well in care, but the road is long for such a young joey, she will spend many months in care before being ready for life back in the wild.
Being so very young she is also not out of danger, many thing can go wrong in care with such a young animal.
Next step for her in a few months time is to go to a carer with others at the same stage of development, they will once furred be together in a large enclosure learning how to interact, social behavior that can only be taught by other wallabies and eventually released.
For now she is in a humidicrib being fed 4 hourly around the clock on special wallaby formula.
A Ringtail possum was found dead by Leanne at Goonellabah School on 5 August, a little furred joey clinging to her body.
Leanne called WIRES straight away and Leoni went to the rescue.
Ringtail possums usually have more then one young, so Leoni checked the pouch and found that mum Ringtail had two active teats.
The search was on for the second joey which Leoni knew would be much too young to fend for itself. The joey was nowhere to be found.
Leoni went back again the next day, hoping to find the little orphan, the little sibling was doing well in care but knowing another little one was out there was heart breaking. Leoni eventually went back home empty handed.
Sad fact is we did not know what had killed mum Ringtail, predators could have been involved and may have taken the second joey or it may have been hiding somewhere and not lasted the cold night.
On the 8 August now three days later another call was received to our emergency hotline, this time from headmaster David from Goonellabah school, another little Ringtail joey had been spotted, it was too high to reach so David found extension pole and ladder in order to reach the very scared little furball.
It was the lost sibling.
His weight had dropped to a mere 111 gram, his sister had been 153 gram on arrival, he would have been similar weight when first orphaned. He was dehydrated and very stressed as you can imagine.
Now three days later after spending time in intensive care with Leoni he is joining his sister and another two little Ringtail orphans the same stage of development in care with WIRES carer Jodie.
All will be released together when they are old enough to fend for themselves, forming a little family group.
Thank you to Leanne and David at Goonellabah school for their help with these two little joey's.
This little Yellow-faced whip-snake was taken to Casino Central Vet clinic after it was attacked by a cat. Vet Susan treated its injuries and prescribed a course of antibiotics.
Injuries sustained by cats are lethal to all our native wildlife and without proper medication they will certainly die within a few days.
WIRES snake carer Michael gave the snake its course of injections and it remained in his care for nearly 4 weeks.
When fully recovered it was released by a creek near where it was found.
Photos by SC Murphy
Round peg ( snake) in a square hole!!
By Melanie Barsony images by Judy
Last Friday when Judy spotted this beautiful Green Tree snake, she thought it was just passing through checking out her Barbeque facility. Judy was away for the weekend and was horrified on her return to find the snake trapped in a square hole on the side of the Barbeque.
WIRES was called and snake handler Melanie went to the rescue.
The snake was well and truly stuck, it was literally the old saying of a round peg stuck in a square hole.
Snakes cannot voluntarily go backwards and must never be pulled this way as it can cause serious damage to both their scales and skin.
This snake was able to be released by first smearing a small amount of Vaseline on its body then very carefully and gently, while making sure its scales were flat, working it back through the hole.
The snake is now in care ensuring it is healthy and sustained no injury before being released back to Judy's property where it can resume its normal activity and hopefully never return near the Barbeque.
Please call WIRES for assistance should you find a snake in trouble like this, it is a delicate rescue that should only be done by a trained person.
Thank you Judy for being vigilant and calling WIRES.
Story of a swan by Melanie Barsony
This beautiful young adult Black Swan was rescued after it kept approaching people for food. It was very underweight and was not afraid of humans like it should have been, most likely due to possibly being incorrectly hand-raised.
The swan’s biggest problem was that someone had done the unthinkable and cut off all of its flight feathers on both wings, a total of twenty feathers. Without being able to fly this beautiful bird would have fallen victim to a dog or fox attack. It would eventually molt and re grow its feathers but this would take up to a year.
The swan was cared for by Casino WIRES carer Melanie for two weeks where it ate well and regained weight and strength. Swans are difficult to keep in care as they need to spend most of their time in deep water. Currumbin Wildlife Hospital has a beautiful enclosure specifically designed for swans, so after gaining the appropriate authorization from Nation Parks, it was transferred up to Queensland.
After two months another swan was brought to the Currumbin Hospital, but unfortunately it did not survive. All was not lost however, as this swan’s feathers were donated for a procedure called imping, where donor feathers are attached to the cut feathers of a bird allowing it to fly until it goes through its usual molt.
This is a delicate and precise process using waterproof glue and dowel for inserting the donor feather into the existing feather. The imping procedure was done under anesthetic and took two and a half hours, after which the swan had a beautiful new set of flight feathers. Many thanks go to Currumbin Hospital for all their invaluable care and treatment of this special bird.
The next day, Melanie collected the swan from Currumbin and it was returned to NSW and released on WIRES carer Clare’s wildlife-safe waterway with islands. Here the swan was offered support food until it settled in.
After a couple of weeks the swan was nowhere to be seen, and just to rule out the worst case scenario of a predator attack, Clare conducted an extensive search of the region. Fortunately, no tell tale feathers were found, so we said a prayer and wished her well.
A few weeks after the swan flew away, WIRES received a call from Swan Bay (of all places) for a friendly swan who had left the river and calmly walked into a laundry. Melanie collected a fairly friendly swan, who was not our imped friend as suspected, but a smaller bird. It also must have been hand raised and was too human friendly. This bird was in care for a week then transferred to Clare’s wonderful property. After a few days if flew off, and Clare’s search took her to a neighbor's dam. There she found not one, but both the Black Swans! They were not completely wild but showed no signs of wanting any human contact. It is amazing that these two birds found each other and hopefully will stay together as a pair and help each other in the big, wide, often difficult world.
By Melanie Barsony
The last thing a young man and his friend were expecting when driving their ute on a back road near Tabulam was a Wedge Tailed Eagle flying up from the side of the road.
Unfortunately that is exactly what happened. It collided with the car and went straight through the windscreen. The Eagle was a young female and she landed on the driver who amazingly was able to keep his cool avoiding a serious crash. The eagle was stunned and the drivers friend quickly covered her in a horse blanket so the driver was not injured further by her strong talons, he luckily escaped with minor cuts from the shattered windscreen.
The eagle came off second best with some cuts and a badly fractured wing between shoulder and elbow. Kim, Christine and Kate, WIRES rescuers from Drake were called to the rescue, and the eagle was then transferred to Casino raptor carer Melanie.
The unlucky Eagle was taken straight to the Casino Vet Clinic where she was x-rayed by veterinarian Phil. She was sedated and taken in to surgery to insert a pin into the fractured bone. Even though this magnificent Eagle has been a real problem patient, fighting both the strapping and the confinement, we are cautiously hopeful she will make a full recovery.
Please be aware Eagles often come down to road sides to feed on road kill such as kangaroos or rabbits. They are a large heavy bird, especially with a crop full of food and it can take them great effort and time to get fully air born, often across the road and into oncoming traffic.
UPDATE July 24
Our beautiful Wedge Tail is improving every day and she is getting more stretch and strength in her left wing. Time is drawing closer to the big day when she can once again fly free.
After being in care with Melanie for 7 weeks, the eagle had healed well but still had stiffness in her injured wing so she was transferred to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital.
She was thoroughly checked by vet Michael who found she was in excellent health, her wing had healed perfectly but she had some reduction in wing extension. Exercising in their large flight aviary gradually improved her wing stretch and after six weeks she was ready to be released.
It was a long trip back to her home in the hills near Tabulam were she was finally released. There was a moment of concern when she first flew to the ground, but she then took of and soared perfectly, flying in large circles, dipping and turning before landing in the tallest tree.
Images below show her release back home at Tabulam.
Nova’s Story by Renata
This little Red-necked wallaby came into care on 31st of May when her mum was hit by a car and killed west of Casino.
Both mother and baby were quite cold when the very caring member of the public found them. Thankfully this kind lady had found a wallaby joey before, and knew just what to do. She took the little joey to one of our nearby carers who started warming her up before passing her on to another carer.
At 320g and being so cold, we didn't’t think that she would make it, but we wanted to give her every chance we could.
After her first week in a humidicrib, and with round the clock feeds every 4 hours (and sometimes in between) she was doing so well that we decided to name her Nova (latin for ‘new’).
She has now been in care for three weeks and is still doing really well. Nova is now out of her humidicrib and hanging in a pouch and a very fine trace of fur is just starting to appear.
We are realistic that she might still face difficulties – a reality all wildlife carers live with. But at the moment she is doing really well and we are quietly optimistic that little Nova will continue to shine like the bright little star that she is!
All native wildlife coming in to WIRES are special, however some animals prove to be just that bit extra special, surviving injuries that seem almost impossible to overcome. In all cases it is the dedication of the carer and the animals will to survive even when the odds are stacked against them that makes the outcome as in this case a positive one for all.
WIRES macropod carer Tina cared for this Red-Necked wallaby when she came in to WIRES 2 years ago, she was a tiny un furred joey having survived a car accident in which her mum was killed.
On arrival she had gravel rash from being thrown out of the pouch in the accident, one eye was injured and she suffered seizures for the the first 24 hours.
She was treated for all of her injuries, her determination to live was evident from the start, she battled through and thrived in care. She was released 9 months after arrival.
A few months after her release she came back to her carers property with a severe tumor on her foot, she had difficulty hopping and was in obvious pain. The vet was contacted, pictures of the injury was sent to the vet and treatment was suggested, although the prognosis was not positive Tina was reluctant to give up.. Unfortunately it is not possible to take an adult wallaby to the vet due to the risk of myopathy.
The wallaby turned out once again to survive against the odds, she stayed on Tina's property and allowed Tina to treat her injured foot. After quite some time she was able to once again hop at top speed and she returned to the wild.
Just a few days ago she returned once again to Tina's property, this time she had no injury, a little face popped out of her pouch, one has to wonder did she return to say thank you?
Being involved with native wildlife can be heart breaking, it can also be extremely gratifying. Seeing an animal such as this Red-Necked wallaby having survived against the odds time and time again makes it all worth the many hours, weeks and months spent caring for not only this one, but the hundreds of native animals that come in to WIRES.
Images below are from Tina of the special little lady showing of her joey.
WIRES received this picture from Daniel who saw an eagle on the side of the road 10 km on the Casino side of Coraki. He turned around to make sure it was ok and called WIRES. When he approached it with a blanket it flew off, crash landed then flew again about a km into tall trees near the river. It looks like a young eagle because of its blond feathers and was most likely just inexperienced and may have been clipped by a car.
Many thanks to Daniel for stopping to make sure this magnificent bird was ok.
Our little Glider is growing up, now out in a large aviary catching and munching insects at night.
Her special formula is still enjoyed as you can tell.
But once the sun sets and all is quiet and dark, she turns in to a little insect predator, sneaking up on unsuspecting insects.
Driving along in his car Hank from Casino noticed something hit the windscreen of the car in front. The car in front did not stop but Hank thankfully did and found a Squirrel Glider lying dead in the middle of the road.
Hank checked the pouch and found a tiny joey eyes still closed and fine velvet fur starting to come through.
He wrapped it carefully warm and snug and called WIRES for assistance.The joey was brought in to care and even though he is very young he has thrived in care opening his eyes 2 weeks later he has also grown some more fur and is starting to look like a miniature Squirrel Glider.
He will be in care for some months until he is old enough to make it in the wild when he will be released with other gliders in care.
A Dyrabba resident found an owl tangled in a barbed wire fence. Fortunately, the man was able to gently untangle the owl without causing further injury. He also managed to avoid injury to himself as all owls have sharp talons.
The Southern Boobook Owl, commonly called 'Mopoke', had deep wounds to the skin and muscle in its wing but no ligaments or tendons were damaged.
Antibiotics, pain relief and frequent changes to dressings on the wound, two trips to the vet and four weeks in WIRES care enabled the wound to heal well. The Boobook was successfully released at dusk near where it was found.
Every year, thousands of animals face a cruel death after becoming entangled in barbed wire fences. Nocturnal animals such as bats, gliders and owls are most at risk as they cannot see the fence in the dark. Other birds and animals can become entangled when they try to pass through or over the fence in the daytime.
Use alternatives to barbed wire whenever possible. When fencing for livestock, for example, consider using a combination of plain wire and electric fencing.
To reduce the risk to wildlife, avoid placing barbed wire fences on top of ridge lines, near feed trees, across wildlife corridors or over bodies of water. You can replace barbs with plain wire, cover barbs (particularly the top strand) with split poly pipe or make the fence more visible with nylon sighter wires or electric fence tapes that flicker in the breeze.
If you find any animal entangled in a barbed wire fence, call WIRES urgently on 6628 1898. Speed of reporting is crucial to the animal's survival. It is best not to remove the animal yourself. Never cut the animal or bird to rescue it – apart from causing more pain, a simple snip with the scissors can possibly sever a tendon or ligament and the animal may never recover. If possible, cover the animal with a sheet or towel so it feels less vulnerable until experienced help arrives.
If you are interested in joining WIRES, call our 24 hour hotline on 6628 1898, our next course will take place June 22 & 23 in Lismore.
Feddie has now reached release weight and age.
In readiness for his/hers release she
( we will call her a she)goes on walks outside her enclosure with her carer. Her favorite pastime is exploring rotten logs, this helps her strengthen her muscles and heighten her senses in search for termites.
Some of you may remember Feddie from back in October 2012 when he/she arrived in to care as a little pinkish blob after having been orphaned due to being accidentally dug up by an excavator.
This is what he looked like back then.
Here he is three months later a healthy little juvenile Echidna.
Shortly he will be moved to a large outdoor enclosure where he will learn how to forage for and eat solid food in the "wild"
The time for release is getting closer.
If you do ever find an injured echidna (or rescue an orphaned puggle from the pouch of its mother) it is important to know that while most mammals need to be kept warm this is not the case for echidnas.
Echidnas have a lower body temperature than other mammals and should be kept cool and not placed near hot water bottles or other heat sources where they cannot choose to move away to cooler temperatures. Echidnas are one of only two known egg-laying mammals in the world, known as monotremes, the other being the platypus. When the female lays an egg it is laid directly into her pouch, where it will hatch in safety after about 10 days.
The blind, naked young puggle will then suckle milk from two milk patches (as monotremes have no nipples).
After a short time they begin to develop spines. The mother then sensibly digs a nursery burrow and leaves the puggle there, plugging the entrance with dirt and leaves and returning every five days for feeding until it is weaned at around eight months of age.
They have been known to live for up to 50 years of age.
WIRES snake handler Bryce, relocated
a Green tree snake from the NPWS Office in Byron Bay after it had found its way in to an office.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) would like to
remind all residents to take basic precautions, both for their own
safety and the benefit of these protected species. Snakes play an
important role in native ecosystems by controlling rodents and other
NPWS Area Manager for Byron Coast Area Sue Walker says
residents can take steps to help people live in harmony with snakes.
"Snake are protected by law and they play an important role in the
environment by keeping rodents and other species under control.
WIRES snake handler Bryce Douglas said that snakes are common in the Northern Rivers but if snakes are left alone they
will usually pass by and not be a problem.
All snakes are shy and avoid contact with people.
- A home owner can do several things to reduce the likelihood of snakes
coming into their home or into their yard.
-Try to ensure that your home is snake-proof; with all possible entry points
blocked and weather strips installed under doors.
-Ensure that all aviaries, chook pens and other pet enclosures are
snake-proof. Aviary wire (1cm2) is the only wire which will keep snakes and
-Minimise leaf litter and other snake hiding places around external walls of
-Keep your garage door closed whenever possible.
- Treat all snakes as venomous and never try to catch or kill a snake as this is when the majority of bites occur.
- If you are concerned by a snake on your property call WIRES on 66281898
Images by NPWS Byron Bay
Recent floods was most likely the reason this juvenile Platypus found himself in deep trouble. He was discovered in Tabulam near a house dragging him self away from the flooded creek.
He was taken to Casino vet clinic as he was unable to use his rear legs. X-rays were taken but did not show any broken bones so the Platypus was taken in to care by WIRES as it was hoped bruising may the the only problem for this young dispersing male.
Unfortunately he also had internal injuries and died within 24 hours of being found.
Please look out for animals such as this Platypus that may be in need of assistance near flooded creeks. They are easily injured when debris such as trees and large logs are rushing down the rivers and creeks in the strong current.
WIRES rescue hotline received a call from a local club to rescue a possum stuck in an industrial bin used for food scraps. The possum was stuck in the bin and due to depth of the bin unable to get back out.
WIRES carer Ben went on the rescue and had to hop in to the bin himself in order to reach the possum. She was fairly easy to catch due to being extremely stressed and worn out from having most likely spent considerable time trying to get out, it was also discovered that she was in fact a female with a large joey in the pouch.
Both were taken in to care by Leoni. Mum possum was given re hydration fluid and some native food and it did not take long before she was fast asleep with much movement within her pouch.
Image below shows mum possum shortly after rescue in Bens rescue basket on route to Leoni, clearly stressed and frightened by her ordeal.
Mum possum was taken back to the club the following evening and released back in to a large fig tree, joey delighting Leoni but sticking her head out of the pouch as mum as released.
We urge that all industrial bins which all have lids are actually closed. It is extremely tempting for animals such as possums to take advantage of food left in bins, once inside they are not able to escape.
It is a frightening thought as to how many animals may in fact go to the tip or even worse go in to the compactors when the bins are emptied, the operator of the compacter not aware that a live animal such as mum possum is trapped.
WIRES Macropod carer Jane was only about 10 km from home when she came across a dead wallaby on the road. She stopped and checked the pouch. The little joey still very much alive as desperately trying to get out of mums pouch that had become very stiff and cold. Jane helped the joey out and put her in a warm substitute pouch which she snuggled deep within.
She is a little Red-Necked Pademelon approximately 7 months old, still very much dependant on mum she will be in care till she is about 11 months old growing up with a little Swamp wallaby joey the same age and soon to be united with another Pademelon joey slightly older, currently in care with another WIRES carer.
Please remember to stop and check the pouch of any marsupial on the road, a live joey may very well be alive struggling to get put, and if it does get out will not be able to fend for itself.
50% of marsupials dead on the roads are female and in almost all cases joey's are in the pouch. If found in time they can i most cases be saved. A joey can stay alive up to 4 days in the pouch of a dead mother before it starves to death. It is our responsibility to ensure this does not happen, it only takes a few moments to stop, check and if a joey is in the pouch call WIRES for help.
All animals in WIRES care are released back to the wild. In this case the two Pademelon joey's will be released together when the time comes and the Swamp wallaby will be released with others of her own kind.
By Alicia Carter
WIRES members are in the midst or releasing this juvenile Pacific Baza which came into care after its nest and two other siblings were attacked by a larger bird of prey. A local Eltham man was watching as all this occurred and raced to the rescue of this chick.
Despite having multiple wounds the baza chick has survived with daily intensive care treatment from our trained raptor carer and although a first attempt at re-releasing back to the parents failed, he or she is doing very well and getting a second chance.
UPDATE February 16
FREEDOM - second chance thanks to WIRES NR - That moment you cannot describe - Release Day.
First moment of freedom after being rehabilitated. this amazing Pacific Baza will now fly free for the first time. Let the hunting begin
This little Feather-tailed glider was found at Rosebank clinging to a stick in a bucket of water. He was suffering from exhaustion and is in care for just 24 hours when he will be taken back and released this evening. The water bucket now has a stick much longer so any critters searching for a drink of water in this extreme heat.can escape should they like this little fellow fall in.
He is seen in images below much better after a good feed and some rest.
As soon as it gets dark he will be released back to his colony.
Thank you to Fred and family for being vigilant and calling WIRES.
Wild dogs which are in most cases escaped pets are a big problem in many areas,causing huge loss of domestic stock as well as having a large impact on native animals.
This little Swamp wallaby joey was found in his dead mothers pouch after wild dogs had been heard on a property at Eden Creek a few days earlier in mid December. Mum died of Myopathy.
He is in care with WIRES macropod carer Jane and doing well in the company of another orphaned joey joey slightly older.
Please ensure your pets are secure, remember dogs will join a pack if able, it is our responsibility to ensure wildlife is safe from our domestic pets.
Image by Callum Davey
‘Sharpy’ the dispersing juvenile Echidna was found at Ballina in a very distraught state.
This inquisitive young Echidna had his face & head stuck in a glass jar. Not knowing how long this little Echidna had been in this situation the WIREs rescue hotline was called & Callum went out to help.
On closer inspection the jagged glass jar was not going to be removed without injuring this little critter, so it was off to our friendly Conway St Vets @ Lismore Central Vet Hospital who were just as amazed.
Under anesthetic the broken jar was removed and ‘Sharpy’ was sent back into Wires care for his final recovery. With no other wounds ‘Sharpy’ was lucky to escape his ordeal with no injury.
A few days in care and a good feed was all that was needed before his release back into the wild.
Note: Young Echidnas are dispersing from their burrows at present. This will continue through the Summer & Autumn months. These little Echidnas are very, very, inquisitive during their dispersion as they learn to explore the world outside of their burrows. Please keep a tidy ship around your home or property to ensure that wildlife does not become accidentally caught, stuck or entangled.
Many thanks to all involved in this very unusual rescue & particularly our Vets who voluntarily treat our injured native wildlife.
This little Echidna was found by Terry on her Rosebank property.
Something did ’t look right so Terry went to investigate & noticed that the Echidna was dragging both of its rear legs.
Terry bundled up the Echidna and took him to a WIREs carer who lived just down the road.
A closer assessment revealed 2 engorged paralysis ticks were located each side of the Echidnas spine and he was also very undernourished. Echidnas usually have some resistance to ticks-so this was a first for our WIREs carer who immediately placed him into intensive care. ‘Prickles’ as he became affectionately known was paralysed from the waist down.
He responded well in care and ate all his food, but with no movement in his rear legs, life was rather boring. So his wildlife carer kept him company throughout his 4 week recovery. Gradually ‘Prickles’ regained movement in his legs again and was put into a larger outdoor enclosure for another week to strengthen his legs & improve his muscle tone.
Thanks to Terry for taking the time to go and check on this little Echidna. Without her ‘Prickles’ would have starved to death. He is now back roaming around in his habitat in the wild.
Note: Ticks seem to be particularly potent this year impacting animals & even birds which usually are not affected. Please take the time, as Terry did, to check any unusual animal behavior.
By Kim Moore Evans
These are two little orphan flying foxes which came into my care late last year . Grace the little black was found on the ground by Margaret in Lennox Head, she had fallen off her mum.
Pat the little grey headed flying fox was found by Jane of Tregeagle which was hanging on her dead Mum who had been electrocuted a few days prior to being found.
Thankfully both ladies called Wires and we were able to get these pups in and give them a second chance.
While in care these two formed a bond and would snuggle together while sleeping and do play fighting just like puppies do. They quickly recognised that I was their substitute mum and it would be a race to see who got to me first to have their feed. Sometimes it was impossible to get past the airer ( which they live on) without them screaming and climbing onto me. Payed to be quick and quiet if you had lots of work to do otherwise you would end up playing with them again before they would settle.
Each one has it’s own personality and sometimes it relates to the trauma in which they have been through. Grace was found quickly and given fast care and she is a very confident little bat but Pat on the other hand had a traumatic three days hanging on her dead mum and showed this by needing extra care, cuddles and still needs to suckle on whatever her mouth can get onto.
Flying foxes are very different from our other wildlife being they have to be handled lots and given heaps of attention otherwise they just don’t thrive. But when the time comes for independence, they seem to just know that they are bats and you are quickly forgotten and they are able to be released into the wild.
Pat and Grace have now left my care to go and socialise with others in crèche so they can be successfully released into the wild within the next month or so. It was a privilege to have been able to get these very intelligent animals out into the wild to do their stuff, propagating our rainforests.
Thanks again to Jane of Tregeagle and Margaret of Lennox Head.