Wildlife column - October, 2013
Australian wildlife has always been a passion of mine, and for the past 15 years l've been a licensed rehabilitator caring for injured and orphaned wildlife. To help raise awareness of native animals and the difficulties they face, I've written a monthly column on behalf of the Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers for the Ballina Shire Advocate newspaper since 2000.
This month’s column features a rescue that l was involved with last month. Being a wildlife carer you see your fair share of trauma and suffering. The wounds on this little animal were shocking, and to think that they could have been prevented is just the saddest thing. At least we could give it some relief from the pain in its final days. If you do use netting in your backyard please consider using as smaller sized nets as possible.
As appeared in the Ballina Shire Advocate on Thursday 10 October, 2013.
Facebook comes to the aid of injured echidna
The social networking site, Facebook, has shown its value to local wildlife by helping to identify a badly injured echidna in need of aid.
Last month a Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers’(NRWC) Facebook follower sent the organisation some photos of a young echidna they were seeing regularly in their backyard. The echidna was unconcerned by the family’s attention and appeared normal.
|Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers’ new Facebook page has shown its value to wildlife, but helping specialists to identify this badly injured echidna.|
The next day the echidna was captured and when examined was found to have deep lacerations under both front legs. The wounds were infected and contained pieces of nylon netting. These wounds weren’t apparent in the photos.
It appears the echidna had become entangled in the nylon netting which surrounded a neighbour’s vegetable garden and in trying to free itself had been severely injured.
The echidna was transported to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for specialist treatment and care, where it was immediately given pain relief and antibiotics. It’s unknown how long the echidna was injured before it was rescued but the specialist veterinarians believe it could have been as long as a few weeks.
Unfortunately the echidna survived only three days in intensive care at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital before succumbing to infection. Although an incredibly sad rescue for those involved, the echidna would have suffered much more if it had not been rescued.