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.
17th November 2005
Thank you to Country Energy.
On Wed 16th 2 chicks were blown out of their nest at
31 Uralba St were I work, they were in the garden when I arrived
at work. I made a nest out of a small foam esky and tied it in the
tree, one of the birds went missing within the 5 minutes it took
to get back to them. I put one in the make shift nest and kept looking
for the missing one. I phoned the Uralba St Vet to see if someone
had dropped it in and asked them to phone me if it turned up and
I would come and get it. I phoned our roster and spoke to Kristin
who said they had received
the chick, which was in care with Rachel. I spoke with Rachel and
made arrangements with her to bring the chick back and put it with
the other one. On the way through North Lismore this morning Country
Energy were doing some work with the cherry picker so I stopped
and asked them if they could help put the chicks higher up in the
tree. Jason and Warrick arrived about 10.30 with the cherry picker
and put a new plastic makeshift nest up in the tree. He said he
had rescued a baby bat a few days before hand and the lady was going
to name it after his wife.
Mum, dad and babies are all very happy to be together again and
mum is busy feeding a couple of demanding chicks.
A happy ending
17th October 2005
Christina and John were on their
way home, when they came across a dead Wallaby on the road. They
stopped to check the pouch, and discovered a small joey firmly attached
to the teat in Mum's pouch.
They called WIRES and consequently the joey was brought
to care. The joey is a Swamp wallaby,
very young, eyes still closed, but it did not have time to go cold
in Mums pouch, so it does have a good chance at life, thanks to
Christina and John.
To read more about Christina's time in care, please
19th September 2005
Last Saturday, a farmer from Spring Grove found a newly
hatched wood duckling which he suspects was blown out of a nest
in a eucalypt. It was very windy. The duckling was running up to
his cows, presumably looking for its mother. The farmer found another
duckling which had been trampled by a cow, so he picked up the surviving
one, put it in his pocket and took it to Uralba St vet. Mel
collected it from the vet, gave it to me and then I had to find
a mate for it.
I got an 8 day old domestic duckling (muscovy/appleyard cross) and
they're good company for each other.
If all goes well, in about 6 weeks, the wood duck will be released
in the dam on the property it came from and the domestic duck will
go back to the duck breeder from whom I bought it.
21st August 2005
carer Rhianna came home with more than her daily newspaper Sunday
morning, she also brought home this juvenile Goanna.
Children had tried to raise it after it hatched from an egg, unfortunately
if you do not know what to feed these animals also know how to house
them correctly, it can be a very sad ending. Luckily this little
one came in to care in time,and we hope it will recover from a shaky
start to life.
Image by Alicia Carter
3rd June 2005
WIRES recieved a
call from Sally that she had found a small possum dead on her lawn,
it had 2 tiny babies, one still alive.
WIRES carer Lisa received
the dead mother and babies, and on examining the pouch she realised
both babies were in fact alive, one still firmly attached to the
teat. It turned out to be a Squirrel Glider, now listed as a vulnerably
species. How mum was injured and died we do not know, but she was
cold and so were both joey's, so Lisa
quickly had them on heat till Lee, our small marsupial intensive
care specialist arrived.
Lee took the 2 joey's
home and the weight for these little critters were a mere 12 gram
each, they had a show of colour which means the fur is starting
to grow.The little female had bruising to her stomach, the male
Images by Lee Byron
Only time will tell
if these 2 tiny joey's will survive, they have had a rough start
to life, but thanks to Sally who reacted fast and called for help
and Lisa that kept them warm, they certainly have a good chance
in Lee's care.
The tiny Squirrel gliders
seen here the day after coming in to care just 56
Unfortunately the gliders
did not survive, extensive bruising showed up the day after they
were rescued, internal injuries were too extensive.
28th May 2005
Images by Lee Byron
WIRES receive many
calls from the public asking for information on how to care for
a native animal they have found and would like to keep to educate
their children. We can all understand this, and indeed why is this
require very specific foods, they also require certain conditions
to thrive whilst in care. Unlike puppies and kittens they do not
take to a normal house hold situation, they will in fact stress
to a point of no return. Food is also a problem, as they do not
eat our normal foods that a kitten may thrive on, native animals
will die a slow painful death if not given the correct food and
housing , specially if being found whilst young, as is mainly the
This little Mountain
Brushtail possum is a good example of what happens if not handled
and fed correctly. A very sad case, WIRES recieved this animal too
late, the family that had found it, did not realise the implications
and unfortunately called too late. Possum was humanely euthanased,
as even with veterinary treatment it was not able to survive long
term. When WIRES
recieved this little possum it was a mere 150 gram when in fact
it should have been around 400 gram, it had been fed cows milk,
and not kept under the right conditions. Native animals will not
show their stress openly, to the untrained eye the animal will look
fine, not untill the stress in visible would you realise what has
taken place, and unfortunately at that stage it is in many cases
too late. Please if finding a young native animal, call immediately
let the animal be brought in to care, we will keep you up to date
as to it's progress.
13th April 2005
WIRES Northern Rivers
recieved an anonymous call late in the afternoon on Monday 11th
April, a large number of small birds were stuck on railings at a
car park in Byron Bay.
Wires rescuer Tristan
rushed to the scene to find well over 70 Welcome Swallows lying
on the ground, and many still stuck in
a sticky substance painted on the rails. Tristan called other WIRES
members for help and the birds were taken to Byron Bay Veterinary
It was later discovered
the sticky substance was in fact a product called "Scarecrow",
sold as a deterrent for birds. Please click
here for the story of the disaster at Byron Bay involving a
complete flock of Welcome Swallows.
25th March 2005
recieved a call from a member of the public, they had picked up
a young Red neck wallaby joey 2 weeks prior to calling, the joey
was in trouble
could we please help.
This little wallaby joey was in big trouble, and I
am extremely thankful for the call for help, it was just in time.
When finding a native animal, please call a registered
animal care group as soon as possible, these animals do require
specialised care, feed, and housing. It can be tempting to keep
an animal such as this, the children would certainly have been very
excited by the prospect of having a kangaroo as a pet, but not only
is it illegal, it will usually end in disaster.
This little female Red
Neck Wallaby is now doing well, she was rehydrated as soon as
she was brought in to care, she was fed small amounts of food as
her stomach was not able to take the required amount for some time.
Her weight is slowly gaining, as she gains trust and confidence.
It has been a long road for this little wallaby, but
she is finally starting to take an interest in life, trust has been
gained, and she is starting to interact with the other wallabies
in care, now outside in a nursery pen both day and night she still
spends her time in her pouch, only coming out after her bottle,
but she is hopping well considering she was unable to stand when
first coming in to care.
24th March 2005
WIRES NR recieved a
call for help with a small colony of Microbats, dumped on a carers
door step. Click
here for this amazing story and images courtesy of WIRES carer
18th March 2005
John went searching for what was making a funny sound
just outside his house. What
he found was this tiny 77 gram Mountain
Brushtail possum, calling loudly for her Mum. Her eyes are not
yet open, and it will be some time before her fur appears.
John called WIRES and she is now in care with Lee.
A Mountain Brushtail possum this size is intensive
care, she is fed every 3 hours and kept in a humidicrib, it is in
reality just like a premature baby. She will be in care for about
12 months as long as all goes well.
Thank you John for calling WIRES we will keep you updated
as to her progress.
Leena as she was named thrived in Lee's care and has
now been transferred to WIRES carer Sharon with facilities needed
for her further development whilst in care. Another Mountain Brushtail
is in care with Sharon, and time will tell if the two possums will
Leena seen here 2 months after coming in to care.
18th March 2005
WIRES recieved a call late one evening a small joey
was in need of care.
His mother had been killed by a dog, the joey seemed unharmed. It
turned out to be a Red leg Pademelon, now listed as a vulnerable
species due to habitat destruction and dog and fox predation.
The little orphan is so far doing well, it will however
be some time before the joey settles down. I have found that when
ever there is a situation such as this, where domestic dogs are
involved, and foxes for that matter, the time involved for the joey
to settle is much longer than a car accident for instance.
I imagine it is due to the stress involved, transferred
from the mother to the orphan.
If you ever have to rescue a
joey from the pouch of a dead mother, always pick up the joey as
in picture above, never pull by any limbs, place joey is pillowcase,
jumper etc, with whole body covered including face.( What I can't
see wont hurt me)
here to read more about the Pademelon's time in care
Story and images by
Joe went to a plant nursery and bought herself a Lilly
Pilly tree in a large pot.
She loaded it
on a trailer, and drove home. Luckily Joe unloaded
the tree when she got home and had a good look at her purchase,
only to notice she had not only brought home the tree, in the trees
branches were a tiny birds nest, with 3 pink featherless chicks
Joe called WIRES and the Silver eye chicks were brought
in to care. First image is at 4 days old.
Small birds grow fast, predators are many, so the faster
they grow ,the sooner they can leave the nest. Second image is at
9 days old.
Third image is taken after 3 weeks in
care, the birds are now feeding them selves and are ready for release.
Thank you Joe for your fast action, these
chicks would not have survived for long on their own.
18th March 2005
This little Red neck
Pademelon was found by Dean on a country road, Dean and his
family stopped when they saw this tiny joey hopping around her dead
mothers body, Mum had been killed
by a car we assume. Dean was able to catch the joey, and called
The joey seemed unharmed, and indeed for 10 days she
seemed to do well in care. Unfortunately as sometimes happen, she
went down very suddenly, she was rushed to the vet , but she died
shortly after, due to brain injury sustained earlier in the initial
It can sometimes be heart breaking to care for these
animals, specially when there is no prior warning to something like
this. However this little joey was well fed, warm and secure for
the time she survived after her mum was killed. Thank you Dean for
taking the time to stop, and calling WIRES.
18th March 2005
For Lynda and Nicholas.
Storms can create a big problem for our naive animals,
how many of us would
consider a nest of tiny birds after a rain storm. Lynda and Nicholas
had been watching with interest a nest of tiny Lewins Honey eaters,
the first image here is taken by Lynda and Nicholas just before
a storm went through Byron Bay. After the storm they went out to
check on the little nest.
To their horror the nest had filled with water, one
little chick had disappeared, and although they searched were unable
to find it. The
second chick was cold and wet, not in a good condition at all. They
dried and kept the chick warm till WIRES arrived.
Whilst in care with
WIRES carer Melanie,the little chick made friends with a same age
Welcome Swallow in care. They are seen here waiting for a tasty
bite to eat. Both chicks were successfully released after 3 weeks
Thank you Lynda and
Nicholas for saving this little fellow.
4st March 2005
Image by Joe Chaffey
This is for Brian.
WIRES macropod carer Joeanne recieved this little Swamp
wallaby in care after it was found by Brian.
Brian found the joey alone with no mother anywhere
to be seen. How she was orphaned we do not know, but she was only
half the weight she should have been according to her development
and age, as Joe stated " a little bag of bones"
She is doing well considering what she may have been
through. We will keep you up to date as to how she progresses in
Thank you Brian for calling WIRES, and giving this
little orphan another chance at life.
Grace as she was named has done well in care, she is spending her
time outside in a nursery pen, interacting with a number of Swamp
wallabies like herself, this is an important part of their development
as they need to learn how to interact when released, they must have
the social skills to survive in the wild. These skills can only
be taught by other wallabies not us.
1st March 2005
WIRES reptile handler Rhianna went to the rescue of
this Water Dragon found inside a house, or should i say rescue of
house owner Saasha and her husband who thought it was much larger
than it turned out to be.
Water Dragons may look scary, but are totally harmless.
They can however deliver a defensive bite. We would advise you not
to touch, if you find a Dragon in trouble call WIRES or your nearest
wildlife care organisation for help or advise.
by Rhianna Blackthorn
5th March 2005
Story and images by
On Saturday evening, 5th March 2005, Kerry and her
family were on their way back from Ballina to
Lennox Head after they had bought their pizza. They were traveling
in the 80km zone past East Ballina Lake, the evening was mild, it
was on dark, and the window was wound down - when a duck flew into
the car, past the children on the back seat, hitting the rear window
of the station wagon from the inside, knocking herself out.
Having arrived home in Lennox, Kerry rang WIRES and
by the time the carer had arrived, the duck, a Pacific Black Duck,
had regained consciousness. Feeling fine the next morning, she was
released into the creek of her
stomping ground, the Chikiba Reserve.
29th January 2005
Australia Day was a sad day for a little family of
Ringtail possums living at Bangalow. The Ringtail
mother had made her drey (nest) in a large palm behind the Bangalow
Hotel, there was plenty of cover and shade for her young, somewhere
she felt safe and secure.
On Australia Day someone set fire to the palm, no one
knows who or why, the result was however a very tragic one for this
little family. After the fire brigade had been and put out the fire,
the Ringtail mother was seen to run out from nearby bushes and throw
herself into a pool of water left behind, she was caught by the
hotel staff, a patron taking her home away for the noise and mayhem.
The hotel staff contacted WIRES, and soon afterwards she was taken
She was immediately sedated due to extreme stress,
having lost much fur and treated for burns to her feet, hands and
tail. During examination of the possum the carer discovered that
it was a lactating female, which meant that somewhere there were
also at least 2 young possum babies in big trouble.
Bangalow Hotel was contacted and asked if they could
be on the lookout for the 2 babies. Later that evening, hotel staff
called back that they had seen the 2 young Ringtail possums, and
were keeping a vigil on their whereabouts, so WIRES went back to
the hotel. Unfortunately we were only able to catch one baby, the
other one escaped and disappeared into the dense undergrowth. WIRES
received yet another call from the hotel staff at 3.30 am the following
night; they had found and caught the second baby.
Mother Possum was reunited with her young. Unfortunately,
one baby died from her injuries, curled up with her mother arms,
just hours after coming into care. Mother Ringtail died 2 days later
from internal injuries, probably sustained when she leapt from the
flames. The second baby survived in care for 4 days, she died due
to internal injuries.
WIRES Northern Rivers would like to thank the staff
at The Bangalow Hotel for their fast action when first discovering
the mother Ringtail, their compassion and persistent efforts in
their search for the missing Ringtail babies. Thank you also to
the gentleman that tried to help mother Ringtail before WIRES arrival.
25th January 2005
This Saw shelled turtle ( Elseya Latisternum) was
caught on a fishing line, click here
to read about his ordeal
10th January 2005
Yet another possum has been brought in to care from
Byron Bay. The Mountain Brushtail
possum was found in the car park of a local backpackers, he
is a well known resident even has a girlfriend so we are told, his
name is Peter and his girlfriends name is Polly.
How he was injured we do not know, possibly hit by
a car, he was sent to Byron Bay veterinary clinic where he was examined
no broken bones were found, and "Peter" was brought in
He is a very good patient, I am able to clean his wound,
as long as he gets a banana for his trouble he sits very still munching
away whilst he is attended to. He will stay in care untill his wound
has healed enough for him to be in no danger from infection, as
long as all goes well, he will be returned to the Backpackers where
he has spent his growing years. Mountain Brushtail possums live
for up to 17 years, we hope he will have many more years ahead of
10th February 2005
"Peter" has gone home to the Backpackers
at Byron Bay, his wound has healed and he is once again amongst
his friends. Seen here a week before his release. Security guards
are keeping an eye on Peter, making sure he continues healing. He
still has to grow fur on the trouble spot, but keeping him in care
for longer would have compromised his release, Peter is a very lucky
possum as he has security able to keep an eye on him.
Thank you to Craig for not only rescuing, but your
continued concern for Peter.
7th January 2005
From Byron Bay area WIRES NR recieved 3calls for possum
rescues, one after the other. One had a happy ending, the other
two unfortunately did not.
The first call was from a motorist in the middle of
Byron, he had watched a tiny Ringtail
possum make it through the traffic, narrowly missing 2 cars,
our caller stopped, and as he got out of the car the little possum
ran up his leg.This is most unusual, possums will try to get away,
but in this case I think the possum was so frightened it would have
run up anything to escape the traffic. It was brought in to care
with WIRES, unfortunately it was too late for this little female,
she had most likely been alone for some time from the state of her,
and we were unable to save her even though all effort to do so was
The second call came in shortly after the first, also
from Byron Bay, this time backpackers had found a very small Ringtail
possum in the early hours of the morning. Ringtail joey's
are so sweet looking it can be hard to part with them, and not knowing
too much about native animals, can also be a problem, so this little
64 gram possum went backpacking the next day. That evening WIRES
was called, and the tiny joey came in to care. All effort to re
hydrate the tiny possum was in vain, and she died shortly after
coming in to care. Such a small animal can not sustain life for
long with no fluid.
The third call did have a happy ending, it was very
much needed after the other two.
This possum was a Mountain
Brushtail joey, found in a shed at Billinudgel. When it came
in to care, it became apparent that it had not been alone for long,
only weighing 220gram, it would have dehydrated fast, but there
was no apparent signs of being abandoned for long. I asked the caller
of the circumstances in which he had found the possum, and came
to the conclusion that it may simply have fallen off mums back.
In the rafters of the shed were wool bales, and outside a mango
tree, possum heaven..
I asked the caller to check for Mum when he came home,
but he was not able to locate her. The possum joey stayed in care
and the next morning the caller rang back, Mum was back in the rafters
between the wool bales.
The little possum joey was taken home, and as the caller
recounted, what an emotional sight to see Mum and joey reunited.
It is rare we are able to reunite joey's like this,
usually Mum has been injured or is not able to be found, but in
this case it certainly made the last few days seem more optimistic.
Thank you Timothy for your effort in the rescue and
return of this tiny Mountain Brushtail possum.