Mar 23, 2020

What a season!

Weekly weigh & measure
Weekly weigh & measure

What a bat season this has been!

Following the bushfires which wiped out critical food habitat and led to a mass abandonment of pups due to starving mothers; then the mass mortalities from extreme heat, and then torrential rain and flooding with trees collapsing and power lines down, bats getting entangled in fruit netting - it has been really, really busy with bat rescues.

We opened Kukundi crèche for our flying-fox pups early January 2020. Every week we have been doing a general health check of all the pups in the crèche. They are weighed and their forearm is measured. We also look over each pup, check the condition of their wing membrane and joints and general behaviour. As each weeks passes, we watch them progress through the dehumanising process, until they reach the stage (usually after about 5 weeks in crèche) where they are ready to move into our releases cage which is located in the bush not far from a flying fox camp. It is from here we eventually open the hatch of the cage so that they can be free and join the local camp.

Since January, we have been able to release over 90 pups back into the wild, with another 40 ready to go next weekend. It has been such a busy season with more than normal numbers of pups coming into care. More pups’ means more fruit required. We have had wonderful support from one of our major supermarkets (Woolworths) donating many weeks of fruit (over 220 kgs of apple and pears each week) for our flying foxes in care. We have had a local primary school that was learning about the environment, collect fruit and donate to us also. We have had other donations of bat wraps; syringes and other bat care items from many different people and groups, which we are truly grateful for.

One exciting development down at Kukundi, our release facility at Lane Cove National Park, was getting the cool room up and running for this season. This has meant we have been able to store fruit and minimise loss due to spoilage – something that we really needed this season with so many mouths to feed.

Thank you so much for all your generous donations that enable us to continue to rescue, rehabilitate and release back into the wild our beautiful bats. We could not do it without your help.

Cheers

Fiona Bassett

Project Manager

Measuring forearm
Measuring forearm
Pups in care
Pups in care
New cool room
New cool room
Operational cool room!
Operational cool room!
More pups in care
More pups in care
Feb 11, 2020

Fire to Flood

Treated burnt feet
Treated burnt feet

Sydney Wildlife have been very busy lately as I am sure you can imagine.  Besides going to the fire grounds with our Mobile Care Unit, we have also been looking after fire affected wildlife and providing support to other wildlife organisations. 

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/the-signal/what-the-fires-did-to-animals/11895108

One of our members commandeered a plane that was going to Kangaroo Island.  Kangaroo Island has also been badly affected by the recent fires. 

Lorraine (Sydney Wildlife Volunteer) had the great idea on Friday afternoon to fill up the private plane that was headed to Kangaroo Island the following Tuesday with much needed supplies. Lorraine got in contact with the Ranger who advised that RSPCA were in charge of the rescue efforts on Kangaroo Island and the emphasis was feeders, boxes, pouches, medical supplies and feeding/water equipment. The supplies were needed mostly for smaller mammals, reptiles and birds so Margaret (Sydney Wildlife Volunteer) posted on a number of Facebook groups asking for help and contacted our support team at ARC (Animal Rescue Cooperative).  In just 3 days the Sydney Wildlife volunteers had sourced, collected and filled the plane with much needed supplies.

Mission accomplished!!  Once the plane landed, all the feeders, watering systems, possum boxes and medical supplies asked for were handed to the RSPCA to use and distribute to other wildlife groups.

In another fire related trip we ended up in Lithgow where we were part of a search and rescue team comprising of people from RSPCA, Animals Australia, World Vets, WIRES and of course Sydney Wildlife Rescue.

Sydney Wildlife have also had the honour of working with Dr Oakley (Yukon Vet), Dr Peyton and her husband and Professor Johnson, all the way from the USA.  

Working with Wildlife Rescue South Coast again we have been able to check up on our original patients to see their progress over the past weeks and do some new fish skin treatments on their burns that Dr Jamie applied. 

Dr Peyton is an award-winning burns specialist who is using ground-breaking methods on burns victims: 
https://lindsaywildlife.org/…/september-2019-conservation-…/

You can watch Dr Oakley on Yukon Vet:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAigNvayIXY

It has been a horrible and heart breaking summer here in Australia but gladly as I sit here today writing this it is raining heavily which I hope puts out all the fires and fills our dams.

Thank you all for your continued and wonderful support as we can't do what we do without your donations.

Signs praying for rain & thanking fire fighters.
Signs praying for rain & thanking fire fighters.
New fish skin treatment really helped
New fish skin treatment really helped
Wombat on oxygen for smoke inhalation
Wombat on oxygen for smoke inhalation
Dr Oakley with Joeys WRSC
Dr Oakley with Joeys WRSC
Orphans
Orphans

Links:

Jan 16, 2020

From Concept to Saving Lives

Volunteer vets preparing to leave
Volunteer vets preparing to leave

What a week! Actually what a summer! And it's not over yet. Interviewed by Fox TV and the inaugural trip for the mobile care unit (and like many others my first week back to work after the Christmas, new year break) I had a call around lunchtime on the Tuesday asking if I was able to go to waratah park to do an interview for fox TV along with a small group of other Sydney Wildlife carers. 

We did lots of live crosses to the United States, fed our wildlife charges in the breaks and finished in the wee early hours of the morning. The air was still thick with smoke to remind us why we were there; the world is interested in us, our wildlife and the environment. The out pouring of emotion and offers of assistance from people from all walks of life is truly humbling. We are just normal people dealing with what life throws at us, we also happen to be wildlife carers. We all feel a responsibility to look after our wildlife and environment.

A couple of days later, we saw the Sydney Wildlife Mobile Care Unit off on it's inaugural journey to our fire ravished south coast with a team of fantastic volunteer vets and carers on board armed with tonnes of medical supplies, bandages, water and food for the animals (all of which had been donated).  

After they left, I was tidying up and I found one of the original concept photos of the "van". That got me thinking about how we got here. 

It was about 3 years ago and Joan - a fellow carer had a vision to make specialist veterinary care available to carers and their native wildlife. There were many hurdles and many who didn’t think that we would get there but there were more people who shared the dream and supported the idea and the team. Joan and Lynleigh have worked tirelessly to get this exciting new concept of a mobile care unit for native wildlife off the drawing board and into reality.

Sadly, the Mobile care units’ inaugural journey was to help out in the bush fires that have killed and injured literally millions of animals.  On the plus side, Sydney Wildlife have people like Joan, Lynleigh and the wonderful team of volunteer vets and carers working together with Wildlife Care South Coast and the extended team of people who have done everything from sewing pouches and bat wraps, to giving donations of goods and medical supplies.  Not to mention those who have given us the funds to purchase other medical supplies, fuel and essential equipment. As Sydney Wildlife is a 100% volunteer organisation, we can't do the important job of looking after our unique precious wildlife without the support of the community and the donations. 

I could list many people who have helped but alas there is not enough space on the paper to thank everyone individually.  So please accept our thanks and know that we will be continuing to look after our wildlife with your help and ongoing support. 

Finally, I would like to say I am proud and honoured to be a part of such a great group of people as Sydney Wildlife.

Driving through the devastation
Driving through the devastation
Kangaroo joey with burnt feet
Kangaroo joey with burnt feet
Joeys now treated and bandaged.
Joeys now treated and bandaged.
Thin monitor no food due to fires
Thin monitor no food due to fires
Red-bellied Black snake being examined
Red-bellied Black snake being examined
Fire victim echidna meets care unit echidna
Fire victim echidna meets care unit echidna
 
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