On 21 October Belinda from Corndale found a Sugar glider hanging on a barbed wire fence. She immediately rushed over to try and see if she could release the glider from the fence but found that the poor animal was not only entangled, the barbed wire was wrapped around her pouch and 2 tiny joeys were hanging onto her teats but both were outside of the pouch.
Belinda realised trying to get the Glider of the barbs would cause more stress and pain, so she cut the fence, removed the glider still attached to the wire, and called WIRES.
WIRES volunteers Merryn and Darren are trained in how to safely remove animals from Barbed wire, without causing further damage, it is a delicate operation and one that require great patience and skill.
Merryn and Darren worked their way through releasing mum glider from the barbed wire, and soon realised why her two tiny joeys were on the outside and not safely inside mums pouch. The barbs had penetrated the pouch, whilst hanging trapped on the fence her pouch had stretched to a point where her joeys fell out, but they were latched tightly to her teats, not letting go.
Mum glider was treated for shock and re-hydrated, her tiny joeys were still tightly latched onto mum and seemed ok. The following morning the trio were examined at Alstonville vet hospital.
Mum’s wounds were treated, she would need a course of antibiotics, miraculously her tiny joeys were uninjured.
The little glider family was now in care with WIRES volunteer Jeanette, and after a couple of days the joeys were able to get back into mum’s pouch.
Jeanette kept a close eye on the joeys development but she need not have worried, mum glider was taking good care of her joeys.
After close to a month in care mum’s wounds had healed and it was time to release the family back where they had come from.
Realising the damage that Barbed wire can cause, and knowing that gliders obviously used that particular area, Belinda had covered the top strand of the offending barbed wire with garden hose.
Although the family would have had a home, likely a hollow in a tree, finding that would be impossible, so the glider box she had used whilst in care was erected by Belinda’s husband Scott, close to where she had been found on the fence .
Scott climbed 2.5 meters up the tree the following morning to check that all was ok, the two joeys were in the box, but mum had disappeared.
The joeys were collected and brought back into WIRES care, they were too young to be left alone still being dependent on mum’s milk.
Scott climbed the tree regularly over the coming days, but mum did not return.
Another call to WIRES was received shortly after the two joeys were brought back into care, a little Sugar glider joey had been found on the road at Goonellabah, magpies were pecking at it when Patricia noticed it.
This little glider was the same age as the other two and after ensuring she was not injured she joined the two already in care.
That was almost 3 weeks ago and as you can see the trio is getting on well, they are now self-feeding their special glider formula, and in time they will be released back to the wild , together forming a family.
Thank you Belinda, Scott, and Patricia for calling WIRES and thank you Alstonville vet hospital for your continued support.
Pictures by Jeanette Dundas, Belinda and Scott