Here at Return to the Wild our speciality is, of course, koalas. Our skills and experience however encompass all species, and this has proven essential recently.
The unusual weather is playing havoc with our wildlife. Extreme drought, followed by severe storms, heat waves, and some very cold snaps. It is supposed to be winter but this winter has been the most unusual yet with July seeing some very warm days. It may seem nice to be able to sit in the sun on what feels like a warm spring day, but it is triggering unusual behaviour in the wildlife. Birds are nesting in winter, and even though we have had some showers the food source for the koalas has been hard to find.
Sadly, no koalas saved this month
The koalas rescued this month have been mostly diseased and sick, with conjunctivitis (eye infections) and cystitis (dirty tail). The tough conditions being stressors which weaken the animals and bring about the diseases.
Unfortunately all of the koalas we rescued and sent to specialist wildlife hospitals in Brisbane have had to be euthanized due to the severity of their condition.
When a koala is found on the ground at the base of a tree, it is usually too weak to climb and organ failure is starting due to the advanced stage of the disease.
Although we were not able to save these animals it would be cruel to leave them to suffer, and although a sad part of our job it is just as valuable and important as the more ‘glamorous’ hand rearing of joeys.
Happily, successful recuperation of other important wildlife!
Due in part to the weather conditions, and with experienced carers in short supply, we have found ourselves needing to take on care and hand rearing of other species.
Normally we act as a clearing station and other carers in our network will take over many other species. This not only benefits the animal in consistency of care, but also means a carer specialising in possums (for example) will be able to ‘buddy-up’ their charges with another animal of the same species.
This is an underestimated necessity of hand-rearing, even for animals which may be solitary in adulthood!
Due to the volume of other wildlife brought in, our little flock of charges has expanded.
This squirrel glider was one of 3 that were found caught on barbed wire fences. Their fur and usually the gliding membrane gets caught on the barb, and as they try to escape they get twisted and further entrapped. This female was taken to a vet who very kindly anesthetised the animal and cleaned and dressed the wound. This glider is one of the lucky ones who was able to be treated and released.
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