Did you know that more than 80 per cent of our plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia and are found nowhere else in the world?
The Gympie region is home to over 3600 species of native plants and animals. The abundance of wildlife is due to our region being in an area where northern tropical and southern temperate native species overlap. Our coastal wetland environment, bush land, rivers, streams and foreshores provide important habitat for migratory birds, koalas, the Mary River Cod, the Mary River Turtle, the Australian Lungfish and Loggerhead Turtle, to name a few.
With so much around, the potential to encounter injured wildlife is high.
What to do if you find an injured native animal?
- STOP – your personal safety is paramount
- DO NOT handle snakes, bats, adult koalas or adult kangaroos and wallabies as they can cause serious injury.
- WATCH – Some animals may not need rescuing such as animals crossing the road (keep them safe), or fledgling birds (watch for parents return), or others that can only be rescued by experienced carers (keep watching the animal until they arrive).
- SECURE ALL PETS & CHILDREN as they can cause stress or further injury.
- CALL a wildlife carers group for advice. In the Gympie area contact Australian Native Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Association (ANARRA) ph: 54849111 or contact RSPCA
- USE A TOWEL or blanket, approach the animal from behind, cover and pick up the animal, place in a secure box and transport directly to a vet or wildlife carer, or place a box or a washing basket over the animal, cover with a towel and await a wildlife rescuer.
- NO FOOD OR WATER should be given, it can be fatal.
- CHECK THE POUCH if you find a kangaroo, wallaby, possum, koala or wombat that has been injured – joeys have been known to survive in the mother’s pouch following her death for several days. DO NOT REMOVE the joey from the mother’s teat as irreparable damage can be done to the joey’s mouth if removed from the teat incorrectly. If possible take the mother and joey intact to your nearest vet for attention or alternatively call your local wildlife organisation for their assistance.
Slow down and take care
Be extra wary at dusk and dawn as this is the high risk time for animal collisions on our roads.
The breeding season for echidnas is between July and August and for koalas it is between August to February.
It is important to note that the holding/taking of wild animals without approval is illegal.
Have you ever thought about becoming a wildlife carer?
It can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience but the welfare of the animal is of the upmost priority. The aim of the wildlife carer should always be to rehabilitate the animal or raise it to a state of maturity such that it can be safely and successfully released back into its natural environment.
Our native animals are wild and they must be able to be returned to where they belong. To provide for the animal’s physical and psychological needs wildlife carers must have appropriate training and permits, adequate time, suitable facilities and be prepared to meet all the costs incurred, such as for food, housing and some medical expenses.
For more information contact ANARRA on 54849111