31 May 2021

A tiny juvenile Eastern Water Dragon had a very lucky escape from certain death when it came across a cat run. Being wildlife conscious the run has been created by a responsible pet owner for her kitties, allowing them to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air without endangering the local wildlife. The bottom metre of the cage is lined with fine snake-proof wire but being extremely bold, the tiny Water dragon climbed up the fine wire and leapt into the cat enclosure. The pet owner was fast to act, one of the kittens was faster, the pet owner was able to pry the tiny Water dragon from the mouth of the kitten, but alas the damage had already been done – it had a puncture wound on its belly.

As soon as the teeth or claws of a domestic animal like a cat or dog pierce the skin of a native animal, bacteria can enter the wound site, and this spells a slow and often painful death for the native animal if it doesn’t get prompt Vet attention. For an animal to have a chance to survive a dog or cat bite, it will need antibiotics within the first 24 hours.

Dr. Bree at Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital examined the little water dragon, and kept it in care for several days while she and her team monitored it and administered antibiotics. It then went into care with WIRES experienced reptile volunteer Virgil.

 To everyone’s delight, the little Water dragon was released after 14 days in care, we hope its days of climbing and leaping into cat enclosures are over!

By Artemis