Mum and I went along to a two hour course on how to manage any injured wildlife we might come across. Obviously in two hours you can't learn a lot but you can learn how to manage collecting the different types of animals and birds you might come across while driving or working in a bush reserve, and how to get them to someone who knows what to do next. A lot of our native fauna are very fragile so much expertise is needed in treating them.
In the course of the talk we go to meet some of the beasties and birdies that have been unable to be released back to their bush homes for various reasons and who then become part of the education team.
This is Precious. He's a Tawny Frogmouth, a kind of Nightjar, a night bird rather like owls. Please pardon the photos, it was indoors and I didn't want to startle the critters by using my flash. I was pleased by how well they came out, actually!
He was taken back to his home territory twice after being treated, and both times he flew back to the sanctuary, so they realised he didn't want to leave. :) Precious has a phobia about reptiles so they had to put him away before they brought any out. For a bird who is considered to live partly on small reptiles, this might have been rather a disadvantage in the wild, so no wonder he prefers captivity!
Once Precious was safely away, we got to meet this Western Bluetongue.
I hadn't realised we have them here in the West as well as the Eastern States.. I thought our local Bluetongues only came in the gnarly bobtail style like this. :)
This image came from this blog where you can see plenty of local reptiles if you want more. :)
Next was Ruby the Echidna. She knows her business and didn't want to come out of her crate until she saw her food bowl get put down. Here she is waiting, for it, then coming for it. Too funny!
After that one of the ladies brought her round so people could have a feel of her pouch. I thought that was a bit rude to do without asking! :) Echidnas are monotremes, a very rare and prehistoric form of marsupial. They were around when dinosaurs walked the earth.
Next was Jinda the Stimson's Python.
In all my years of walking and riding horses in the bush, I've never seen any sort of python, though I know we have them. They are very shy. As for our much-vaunted poisonous snakes, most are not aggressive and as they told us, you just, "Say good-ay and walk away," and they will return the courtesy.
This is Boodie the Burrowing Bettong, a small hopping marsupial. They are extinct on the mainland of Oz (good going us, done in less than two hundred years of white occupation in WA) but they do still survive on some islands. Boodie is ten, which is more than twice as old as Bettongs get to be in the wild. Captivity is definitely a little easier than being wild!
We don't need to worry about running this guy over, but we do need to worry about his distant relatives, the kangaroos and wallabies, so we got a good talk about how to take a joey from its dead mother's pouch and keep it alive long enough to get to a foster carer. It's amazing how small they can be, pink and tiny, and still be raised, if the right person cares for them. It's not legal to have the native animals or birds as pets but some people have permits and those are the ones who do the raising of orphans too.
We also got shown how to catch an injured raptor or cockatoo (carefully!) and we were warned to leave our native possums alone and just call the Wildcare helpline. They bite!
For local folks, the Wildcare Helpline number to call for injured big critters is the (08) 9474 9055. Put it in your phone or wallet now. Don't wait to find it until you are standing beside an injured roo on a dark country road!
The last critter we were shown is Eva Gabor. She's a stick insect from Queensland, who was raised by June from an egg, yes an egg! Apparently June can raise anything! She has the magic touch!
This raven's nest was in the foyer;
Very elaborate, though not as comfy inside as some nests I've seen. I have a funny story about the ravens here. The other morning I saw one hanging around the small door to the chook's dome. I wondered why since I had put some food out in the pen and she or he could easily have had that. Next thing, the raven is in the dome and swiftly out again, carrying an egg in their beak! That bloody Mrs Guppy is still laying her eggs outside the nesting box and Mr or Mrs raven could see her smallish egg not far from the dome entrance and looking just right for wary raveny beaks!
The last thing I wanted to show you was this wall hanging that was also in the foyer. It shows many difference native birds and animals. So much work! Being a fibre arts person, I had to take a snap of it!