THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!
Readers will probably notice that there have been no Bushtale articles for a few months. That’s because Barry and I have been travelling around Oz! For most happy holiday makers, they look forward to the adventure of a great holiday, spectacular scenery and relaxation! But it quickly became obvious that our holiday was going to be all about Australia’s beautiful wildlife.
The huge number of “Grey Nomads” on the road, combined with the NT’s speed limit of 130kph, spelt disaster for our wildlife. The enormity and extent of road kills meant that nothing was left alive, and due to the appalling conditions of the outback roads – nowhere to stop, pull over, or do a u-turn (whilst towing a caravan), those which did survive but suffering horrific injuries, were unable to be helped. My devotion as a wildlife carer ensured my holiday became a living nightmare.
What did become apparent during our travels, was the extent of the Eastern States wildlife carers’ groups. In Townsville, the carers even have a shop, where people can drop injured or orphaned wildlife, or make donations. From Townsville to Cooktown, wildlife carers number over 200! Many of you will remember, following the devastating QLD floods early this year, that Loveland for Wildlife called for donations from our Turquoise Coast, to assist wildlife groups in the recovery and rehabilitation of wildlife affected by the floods and Cyclone Yasi. Barry and I were overcome with the kindness afforded by wildlife carers in Queensland, who welcomed us into their homes and lives. We stayed with carers in Rosedale, just north of Bundaberg, and visited properties in Agnes Water, Bundaberg, Gin Gin and Childers, always being welcomed with open arms. I was also guest-of-honour at the Bundaberg Region A.G.M., and gave a speech on our small and dedicated group of carers in Jurien Bay.
The array of wildlife in the rainforest regions of QLD is quite different to our wildlife in the dry arid regions of WA. During our stay in Rosedale, I was assigned the care of a tiny unfurred Brushtail Possum, weighing just 130 grams, and a small Rufus Betong joey. We were also introduced to Squirrel Gliders, tiny Sugar Gliders, Rock Wallabies, Swamp Wallabies, Pretty Face Wallabies, Flying Foxes, Striped Wallabies, just to name a few. While attending the A.G.M. in Bundaberg, I was inspired by the exchange of animals which took place, placing certain species of animals and birds with carers experienced in that area.
The highlight of our trip was a visit to Australia Zoo, on the Sunshine Coast. We weren’t going to watch the main show, as we had seen dozens of crocodiles, both in the wild, and in wildlife parks, but we are so glad that we did attend. Being school holidays, we were thrilled when the show was presented by the Irwins – Terry, Bindy and Bob. And what a show they put on! The main arena was a spectacular display of birds, including galahs, macaws, a condor (vulture), and even a trained jabiru. The show also boasted a live swim with a huge water python, a snake display, crocodile show, and educational session on Australia’s wildlife. Steve Irwin had a vision over 10 years’ ago, to have a section of Australia Zoo dedicated to “Africa”. This dream came to fruition on Saturday, 17th September, with the opening of “Africa”. Patrons are able to view African animals up close, including Giraffes, Zebras, Rhinoceros’ and even a Cheetah. Both Barry and myself were very impressed with the overall presentation of the park, from the cleanliness, excellent condition of all the animals, and the huge number of staff, all of who were immaculately dressed and very professional. We would thoroughly recommend that every Australian should visit this Australian icon, which is a credit to the Irwin family and to Australia.
When Barry and I started off on our trip back in June, we had originally planned to visit Tasmania. However, after our horrendous journey across the top end, witnessing the devastation to our wildlife (as a result of man’s pursuit of the great Australian holiday), we decided not to put ourselves through the stress of being unable to help animals in distress. We had been told by some travellers who had visited Tasmania that Park Rangers considered the large number of road kill to indicate “a healthy wildlife population”. We don’t dispute this fact, but what is sad is that not all road kills are immediate, with some animals left to die a lingering and painful death, sometimes with babies in their pouches, or babies left unable to fend for themselves. With the opening of Indian Ocean Drive last year, our Jurien wildlife carers anticipated a huge influx of wildlife injuries as a result of virgin bushland opening up, but nothing could ever have prepared us for the carnage that we witnessed in the Australian Outback.
Seeing the large numbers of wildlife carers involved with individual groups around Australia, we are very proud of the great work that our very small band of carers in Jurien Bay do, covering an area from as far south as Lancelin, north to Dongara, and as far inland as Badgingarra, Dandaragan and even Wubin. All of this work is done on a voluntary basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with all funding coming from membership, donations, and the occasional government grant, to enable us to purchase special foods and/or medications for the animals in our care. We are very fortunate to have a beautiful release site for our Western Grey Kangaroos at Kenandra, Ken and Sandy Loveland’s property on Munbinea Road. Suitable release sites are always a problem for wildlife carer groups, and some QLD carers are required to travel approximately 7 hours West to transport some species of kangaroos for release, thus requiring animals such as the Red Kangaroo, to be bottle-fed for a much longer period than normal, as seen in our photo gallery…If you would like to see more pics of our travels around Oz, visit Loveland for Wildlife Facebook page.
After our travels around Australia, our 4th this time, Barry and I have returned to our home in Jurien Bay. They say that there is “no place like home” and that is how we feel about Jurien Bay! We are looking forward to settling down and dedicating our lives to caring for our beautiful wildlife.
Watch future editions of “Craytales” for regular stories of Loveland Bushtales.
Sheryl Wilson – Wildlife Carer.
PLEASE HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE….
Loveland for Wildlife Inc. is a not-for-profit organization, which is dedicated to the rehabilitation and return of native wildlife to their natural environment. We rely solely on donations from the public and fundraising activities to support our endeavours. If you would like to make a donation, or if you would like to become a financial member, thus supporting our wildlife, and also receive our quarterly informative newsletters, please send in the Application Form below. Membership fees are due on 1st November each year.
To: Loveland for Wildlife Inc. PO Box 13, Jurien Bay, WA, 6516
APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP for FINANCIAL YEAR 2011/2012
or I would like to make a DONATION:
TYPE OF MEMBERSHIP: Family/Concession/Single/Donation: ENC: $_________________
$25 $5.00 $10.00
or Electronic Funds transfer to Bendigo & Adelaide Bank, BSB 633 000 Acc No.1331 40905.
Please note that all donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.