Category: Australian Native Animals

Week 51 Frog Safe (Australia)

Last night we watched a David Attenborough documentary about fabulous frogs, it really was fabulous!

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2fzuxx

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Definitely worth watching if you’re having a good day, bad day or anything in between.

(A cry is another thing I can heartily recommend if the occasion arises-speaking from very recent experience, it is a very underrated pressure relief tool…cos…unlike frogs…we can’t eat whatever bugs us…images.png)

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http://www.frogsafe.org.au/about_fdr/our_group.shtml

http://www.frogsafe.org.au/about_fdr/frog_hospital.shtml

Frog Safe – if all the world was safe for frogs,

it would be safe for all of us!

For a long time, you have known us as the Frog Decline Reversal Project but we hope you will like us even better as Frog Safe. It is a much shorter name but, no matter which tools we might use for frog conservation, it describes what we do. All our efforts are meant to make the world safe for frogs to live in. At the moment, it is not safe at all.

You have probably heard already that amphibians the world over are disappearing and,

Here in Far North Queensland, we are one of the world’s “hot spots” for frog decline with several high-altitude species already feared extinct.

Instead of newsletters and meetings, we are a very hands-on outfit doing rescue and rehabilitation of amphibians every single day.

The Cairns Frog Hospital is small but our Curator has been receiving sick and injured frogs since August 1998. As of this writing, over 2,800 adult/subadult frogs have been turned in (plus dozens of toads and hundreds of thousands of tadpoles). Most of the injured frogs can be recovered and released back to the wild. Diseased frogs are another story, however.

We encourage members to be active at our facility but being a ‘financial member only’ still helps our work.

 

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All animals desperately need our help and Christmas is a perfect time to show you care through what you eat and where you do (or don’t) spend spend your money.

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/kinder-christmas

https://www.edgarsmission.org.au/guide-kind-christmas/

http://awfw.org/no-animal-gifts/

Here’s to a Hoppy Christmas.

 

What is a frog’s favourite year?

Leap year.

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Week 43 Save the Tasmanian Devil (Australia)

“Yet doe I feare thy Nature, It is too full o’ th’ Milke of humane kindnesse.”

Macbeth, 1605

 

When Lady Macbeth spoke of ‘the Milke of humane kindnesse’, she was referring to benevolence or compassion.

Sadly actual milk is the product of anything but.

There is more cruelty in a glass of milk than there is in a piece of beef.  Dairy cows are kept alive as living factories, they are forcibly impregnated, only to have their babies stolen from them and either killed as veal or turned into the next generation of slaves. We steal their milk. Then, when their bodies are spent, they are sent off to slaughter. 

The vast majority of dairy cows worldwide are not grazing on green pastures but spend their lives on cement floors in industrial facilites. 

All this for a product we don’t need. 

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/is-there-more-cruelty-in-a-glass-of-milk-or-pound-of-beef/

A couple of months ago cockroach milk was crawling all over the media as the next ‘superfood’.

Sounds revolting, but so is cows milk if you haven’t been socialised to accept it!

Two tiny Tasmanian Devil joeys

The latest is Tasmanian devil milk  which is being investgated for its potential to cast an evil eye at cancer and superbugs.

Is there actually anything we won’t milk?!

Cockroaches and devils obviously only produce tiny amounts of milk which is difficult to get, so in both cases science is working on creating a replica product in a laboratory.

Clearly, where there is a will there is a way. 

When will we finally change another equation and take the cow out of the milk, rather than the milk out of the cow?

 

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Image result for save the tasmanian devil

http://www.tassiedevil.com.au/tasdevil.nsf

Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) is a rare infectious cancer that is spreading through wild Tasmanian devil populations. The Tasmanian devil has been listed as Endangered by the Federal and State governments, as well as the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The Tasmanian devil is now wholly protected. Find out more…

The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) was established in 2003 following concern for the decline of the Tasmanian devil due to DFTD. The core activity of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is funded by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments and is overseen by a Steering Committee. The Program is co-ordinated by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE).

 

While devils are dying of facial tumours we are looking at what’s in their milk for us.

Let’s hope that this discovery is used to benefit them as well.  .

Let’s let the milke of our humane kindnesse flow.

 

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Ps: A Great 3 part documentary series began airing this week and will continue on Thurs 27/10 and 3/11/16 on SBS at 7.30pm

http://www.sbs.com.au/food/programs/for-the-love-of-meat

Pps: This article came out the morning after I posted..weird!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-22/australians-slowly-turning-to-alternative-milks/7949890

Milk may be ‘more nutritious’ but most of the health problems in the west are due to over-nutrition … cows’ milk is designed for baby calves, not adult humans.

I feel sorry for the farmers too, I grew up in that world.  But I feel more sorry for the cows.

It is so easy to make your own nut milk – I blend twelve raw cashews and two dates along with 250ml of hot or cold water, tea or coffee.  I love to add in cacao and chai powder as well.

If you want AMAZING cheesy sauce go here.  Use stock powder if you don’t have nutritional yeast.  You can add turmeric for a golden colour.

 

 

 

Week 27 Australia Zoo Wildlife Rescue (Australia)

We have climbed the ladder up to the middle of the year and now it’s time to slide down to the other end.

snakes0880a

 

Snakes have come up a few times in the past week, so this week is dedicated to them.

Unfairly maligned, they are creatures of great wonder.

Imagine being able to eat, mate and climb with no arms or legs. No wonder they can be armed to the teeth…so to speak.

The fear they instill in some humans, is also evident in the animal world.  Sometimes people can use this to their advantage, like using cucumbers ‘snakes’ to scare unsuspecting cats on YouTube…

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…or using rubber snakes to scare away birds from veggie patches.

The first seems pretty effective, I’m not so sure about the second.

I tried it to stop birds from flying into our window, but neither this or cd’s helped.

If you want to stop birds from flying into your windows, go to a cheap shop and buy static cling L or P stickers for learner drivers…any colour is fine…cut out small shapes of your choice and stick randomly over the window with gaps of about 45cm between them. You won’t even notice them there after a couple of days.

I made love hearts about 1 inch x 1 inch. It’s easy to make them even by folding the edge of the sticker over and then you can cut out both halves at once to make them even and quick.

The difference between how animals and humans respond to snakes is why I wanted to write about them today.  Most animals avoid them.  Too many humans kill them.

I was speaking to an ‘animal lover’ last week who was cheerfully justifying his killing of snakes.  That night, while reading about euthanasia for a different type of animal, we came across a section on reptiles.  What I read made me very, very sad and I would like more people to be aware of this fact…

When you decapitate a warm blooded animal, unconsciousness and brain death follows very rapidly and any movement after a short space of time can be attributed to nerves.

However.

When you decapitate a cold blooded animal, full consciousness and brain life persist…for up to an hour.

 

snakes

The  article the extract below is taken from is titled “Decapitation of Reptiles: Inhumane for Euthanasia”.

“Some of the many ways in which reptiles are “killed” are mentioned later on but one method which is quite commonly used is decapitation. Generally speaking, in mammals and birds, for example, quickly severing the head from the rest of the body may cause immediate or near immediate loss of consciousness and a very rapid death. It might not be describable as ‘humane’ but the period of post-severance life in the head is almost certainly short. Although meaning certain death, decapitation is certainly not a rapid or humane way of killing reptiles. As hard to believe as it seems, the heads cut from reptiles live on well after the horrific event of decapitation itself. It is not a case of “nerves causing the head to move unconsciously” as most people think. The heads, and parts of the neck if still attached, are alive and some may attempt to bite objects which approach; the eyes may follow movement and the pupils contract and dilate in response to light and dark; they can blink and in the case of snakes and lizards, flick out and in their tongues to test the air for scent and even move slightly if enough of their neck is left.

“With what movement they can manage they often writhe in agony from the massive severance of tissue. They are virtually helpless, frightened and going to die. If it seems too inconceivable to be true, then think of it as being a case of animals which have had most of their bodies cut away. One might think that suffering of this kind could not be endured for long. If only that were true. Unfortunately, a problem associated with the reptilian metabolism’s ability to operate at relatively low oxygen and low blood pressure levels is that nerve tissue is, to put it simply, very tough. Therefore, the nervous system, which of course includes the brain, can function away from the rest of the body for some time. In fact, the activities of decapitated heads mentioned earlier have been recorded as present for around an hour or so. If reptiles are to be killed by physical means (rather than by, say, an injected overdose of an anesthetic), then it has to involve complete and rapid destruction of the brain; otherwise they are very likely to suffer enormously and for a long time before dying.”

 

So please don’t do it!

If you haven’t seen them before, you probably won’t see them there again.  They don’t like humans or our pets much at all. If they do persist and it bothers you, try removing any junk you have lying around that may be harbour for them and the rats and mice they feed on.

If that doesn’t work, and you’re willing to pay $50+  you can call a snake rescuer, to try and ensure the safe and humane removal of snakes. Here is a link for Victoria.

(Well mostly safe,as I was writing this I found an article about a  snake handler is Kerala. Why they didn’t leave the poor thing alone once it had disappeared underground is beyond me.)

Fortunately the next story had a happy ending, although the resident rats might disagree…Monty is now thriving in a sewerage treatment plant.

Massive python found in Mission Beach bedroom

Mr Goodwin released the python into a nearby sewage plant.

Oh and please don’t buy ANYTHING made from real snake skin…I have heard that often they are skinned alive.  Same goes for eels served as cuisine.

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I wish you and all the lovely reptiles all the best for the second half of the old year and the first half of the new financial year.

Who knows what surprises will be in store for us, since the result of Brexit showed that apparently no one can predict the future!*

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ps I’m having trouble finding any reptile charity I am comfortable supporting this week…it seems that a lot of snake removers charge for their services,  make money from displaying them, or don’t show the conditions that the ones they are rehabilitating are living in.

Most other wildlife rescuers get/ask nothing for their services… I wonder why those who deal in the cold blooded are generally so, …well…

Which reminds me to mention this:

Donations to Wildlife Victoria do not go to the frontline rescuers at all, only to the office itself.  If you want to assist the volunteers who arrive at callouts to animals, it is best to donate to them directly.  They are giving up their own time out of compassion, while also paying for their own petrol, medicines, and often, sadly, bullets.

Surprise!…It was to me tooindex

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Australia Zoo

Yes, of Steve Irwin fame.  I’m not a fan of zoos, but I just remembered someone mentioned visiting their rescue facility recently and how impressed they were with it.  After visitng their site and seeing they attend call outs from the public for free I think they definitely deserve credit (and a direct debit) for this.

About the Australia Zoo Rescue Unit

Australian Wildlife Hospital 24-hour emergency hotline
Phone: 1300 369 652

The conservation team

From koalas to Green Sea turtles, the Australia Zoo Rescue Unit is dedicated to rescuing all wildlife in need. From Brisbane to Kilcoy and beyond the team travels far and wide with a proven catch and release program in place – their aim is to successfully rescue, rehabilitate and release. The team works closely with Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors – Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to ensure each animal receives the best possible care.

The Australia Zoo Rescue Unit provides a free service to the community to rescue sick and injured wildlife and get them to the best possible veterinary treatment, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. The team are highly skilled and trained to rescue everything from road accident victims to marine animal strandings (including everything in between) and they do it all seven days a week!

A variety of specialised gear is required in any given animal emergency and theirs includes Australia Zoo Rescue vehicles decked out with a range of rescue equipment and access to watercraft for local marine rescues.

The team receive an average of 500 calls per month with most of those located in the Greater Sunshine Coast Region. The best part of the job is getting the call from the vet that the animal has recovered in their care and ready to be released back to the wild – that’s why we love what we do!

Any contributions to rescue team provide essential rescue equipment to ensure that we can provide the best service possible to the animals.

A contribution of $50 will provide the Rescue Unit with:

  • 2 Vials of Anaesthetic drugs to anesthetise Kangaroos and Wallabies to enable their safe and pain free transportation to the AWH.
  • 2 Koala poles to enable safe and stress free capture of Koalas in trees that may be suffering from illnesses or injury.
  • Large snake and Goanna bags for safe capture and transport of reptiles
  • 2 small carry cages for transport of flying foxes, birds and small mammals that are sick or injured.
  • An emergency rescue pack – Torches, Binoculars, Bandages, and Pliers (to remove animals from Barbed wire)
  • Animal Rescue First Aid Kit – Containing all the essential first aid equipment to stabilise our patients before transport to AWH!

http://wildlifewarriors.org.au/donate/

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*Now the vote has been decided, interpretations of Baba Vanga the ‘blind mystic’s’ prediction of Europe turning into a lifeless wasteland appear on Google now with claims from supporters that this is proof she had foreseen Brexit.

It sounds plausible if you overlook the fact that it was apparently a nuclear World War III, raging from 2010-2016, that she predicted as decimating Europe, rather than the democratic vote of one nation.

Mind you we still have six months left…let’s hope she’s wrong!

Week 24 Local Sherlock Holmes Part II (Australia)

There has been a lot of animal news recently.  The ongoing removal of tigers, living and dead – both whole and in body parts – from the ‘Tiger Temple’ in Thailand is yet another reminder to travellers to please not support  the ‘animals as entertainment’ industry.

tiger-temple2.jpg

Thailand tiger ‘slaughterhouse’ discovered by police at temple following tip-off

Crocodiles and sharks continue to do what comes naturally to them.  In turn, with the killing of Harambe the gorilla, humans did what comes naturally to us, which is to look after ourselves and our own kind first… especially when there is a high risk of being sued!

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People like saying ‘life is precious’, but they usually don’t really  mean it.  Otherwise they wouldn’t support the premature termination of precious lives by buying bits of dead animals.

We often don’t even mean human lives are precious, or we would do more to help our desperate brothers and sisters out there, instead of helping ourselves to another piece of chocolate cake .  If you do believe in all human lives are precious, the children of Rafiki Mwema in Kenya would benefit greatly from your support.

If we’re honest, what most of us really mean is just our lives and a those of few individuals selected by us are precious.  Which I guess is quite a natural way for the apex predator to think.

Just looking at the way existence plays fast and loose with lives, it certainly is hard to see any evidence that life is objectively precious at all…

aamosaic

 

Subjectively, of course, is a different matter.


Nature is certainly not kind, but fortunately humans can choose to be.

 

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Survival of the fittest has created a natural world that is full of traps for players of all ages. Most of us know better than to pick strange fungi and eat them, but who would have thought that grass could be a lethal killer?

Last week I wrote about the sickness affecting kangaroos in our local area.  A professional  autopsy has since shown it to be the result of chronic phalaris toxicity – poisoning caused by naturally present alkaloids in a common pasture grass.  Since the finding we have spoken to a number of people and have found the problem to be quite widespread, as is the grass.  It is also affecting some lambs.  This year it may be particularly bad because of the long dry spell followed by rapid growth after good autumn rains.

Farmers can in many ways control what their livestock eats, but kangaroos range and graze widely.  By the time they are showing signs of toxicity, it is probably already too late to help them.  (See video of a strongly affected eastern grey kangaroo here.)

Sometimes it is hard to know how best to be kind.  I think I would like someone to euthanase me if I was in that state, but other people might answer differently…especially people who truly do believe that life quantity  (regardless of quality) is precious.

To euthanase or not euthanase?  That is the question.

In the case of chronic phalaris toxicity in kangaroos, this may be the kindest option available.  It is illegal to kill a kangaroo without permission so please contact a local wildlife carer or the government department responsible for wildlife for further help. (In Victoria, it is DELWP).

One lucky thing for animals is that euthanasia is an option available to them.

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Why can’t humans be given the same option?

We defend the concept of ‘freedom’ yet still put up with the government denying us even the basic the right to end our own lives on our own terms. Why?

 aagreens

 

Week 23 Local ‘Sherlock Holmes’ (Australia)

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The Hound of the Baskervilles

And so it is with many kangaroos at the moment.

We have been spending a lot of time in the Macedon Ranges area since Easter last year, and since the beginning were noticing odd kangaroos that were affected by something strange.

I wondered if it was poisoning or something else.  In mid 2015 I went online and found a 2012 Melbourne university report mentioning similar symptoms and rang Pam Whitely who is named in the report, to find out more.

Kangaroos and Wallabies. We are keen to investigate reports of incoordinated, wobbly or apparently blind macropods. Kangaroo blindness virus is spread by midges. Phalaris staggers from pasture, and toxoplasmosis (from cat faeces) are other possible causes of incoordination and death. Eye and nasal discharge, sneezing and tail twitching have also been reported. If you see kangaroos or wallabies with any of these signs of disease, please contact us.

It turned out that there were still many questions and she was keen for us to try and get the body of an affected kangaroo to them for examination.  The catch was that they needed the brain intact and it needed to be delivered to the university on a weekday.

If you must shoot a kangaroo, a head shot is the only ‘humane’ way*.   So what to do?

I rang a local rescuer with a tranquiliser gun and he said he would be very happy to come out and help.  The only problem was the terrain is quite challenging and you can’t ever know when you will come across an affected kangaroo, and despite their symptoms, they can still disappear, fast.

Time got away, and it seemed to settle down, but now many rescuers are being called out to kangaroos that appear ‘drunk’.

We spoke to one carer who swore it was the phalaris, a common pasture grass,

Image result for phalaris pasture grass

and another who swore it wasn’t.  Video of one kangaroo affected by phalaris seems similar but different to what we are seeing. The fact is, nobody seems to know for sure and it is not something that has been identified in central Victoria before.

But now appears to be increasingly common.

One local rescuer, the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ of the title, wants a definitive answer and so she jumped onboard with us.  She asked us to get a video and she arranged another rescuer to come out with a tranquiliser gun.  We took a video that I will post on YouTube once we have some answers.  Here are some grainy captures to highlight points we have observed in these roos.

Often, but not always alone.  If in a mob they will be the last to hop off.  Ears are often out flat.  Look ‘vagued out’.  Sometimes shake heads. Will let you get up closer than a healthy roo.  Will be aware of your presence, but sometimes will look in your direction but seem not to see you.  Often underweight.

 

When they do hop off it will be awkward, not in a straight line, many bounces are in a twisted motion and higher than usual.  Badly affected ones will often fall over and roll on the ground and have difficulty getting up.

We did find a kangaroo who appeared to be affected  (though not as badly as the one pictured)  while we had the two wonderful rescuers there.  Of course, conclusions will be hard to draw from one examination alone, as kangaroos can be affected by a large number of miseries (not the least of them being humans) but it is a hop in the right direction.

Thank you to the rescuers for their dedication to helping our native wildlife and to Melbourne Uni for its invaluable expertise.  I will update with their findings when I hear back.

8 June 2016 Results have come back from testing and the kangaroo tested positive for chronic phalaris toxicity…the grass is to blame after all. Caligula would have it whipped. Or at least whipper-snipped.  We have since heard of many more apparent cases in the area.   More in Week 24.

 

“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence…”

Albert Einstein

*Before defending the barely regulated kangaroo killing industry, please ask how often do you think pissed cowboy shooters can hit a fast moving kangaroo accurately in its small head?

It is hard enough to accurately shoot an injured kangaroo at close range.  I’ve seen it and it’s not pretty.

 

Week 22 Wild About Wildlife (Australia)

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Poor Johnny Depp is having a weekus horribilis.  In a week of significant personal turmoil, a tomato he threw also came back to pulp him.  Barnaby Joyce had a surprisingly insightful response to his schoolyard insult:

“I’m inside his head, I’m pulling little strings and pulling little levers,” Joyce said in response to Depp’s comments that he “looks somehow inbred with a tomato”.

“Long after I’ve forgotten about Mr Depp, he’s remembering me.

“I’m turning into his Hannibal Lecter.”

Barnaby Joyce, who is Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture is not far off the mark when he compares himself to a sadistic serial killer.  He believes increasing live export is a sign of progress, and shows absolutely no compassion towards the animals covered by his portfolio.

So what hope is there for our native wildlife-seemingly the ‘farmers’ enemy number one’ when we have the ‘farmers’ best mate’  pulling big and little strings?

Some small hope – it is an election year…so please urgently make your voice heard with your local candidates via this RSPCA petition – it will open in a new tab, so click on it NOW!

 

RSPCA Election 2016 petition

 

aahl

 

RSPCA Election 2016 petition

 

Fortunately there are people with both brave and kind hearts out there, sadly they generally aren’t attracted to a political career.

Lisa from Wild about Wildlife is one such person.  She’s no slouch on the good come back either, as I just saw on her Facebook page- this started with a pea brain describing a roo that survived being hit by a car as a ‘lucky one’:

WAW

 

Fuckin human,s!!!

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Wild About Wildlife

aawaw

Just like the wonderful family who started Rudozem Dog Shelter in Bulgaria (Week 21),  and Pam Ahern from Edgar’s Mission (Week 14 ), Lisa didn’t set out to become a wildlife carer, it happened organically and has grown into a full time commitment for her from there.

She is a wealth of knowledge which she is more than happy to share with anybody who will take the time to listen and learn.

Some tips if you see injured wildlife:

Even injured  animals can move fast, running on adrenaline and fear – try not to scare an animal away from where it can be accessed by a rescuer for assessment.

If  you need to approach, move quietly and slowly towards it, keeping your eyes down.  Approaching in a car or in a squatting ‘frog walk’ can help lessen the animal’s fear.

If you can’t wait by the animals, know and provide exact and very clear location details – GPS, picture, distance in metres from landmarks all help – animals are designed to blend into the environment.

If you can wait around for the rescuer – great!  Please don’t be offended if they are short on chatter and are focussed on the task.  Every rescue presents new challenges and unknowns for rescuers, who, don’t forget are volunteers.  Do comply with their directions. And don’t be upset with them if they consider euthanasia to be the kindest option.

If you can approach the animal without it running away, think of body temperature – if the weather is really hot, shade it and try and keep it cool.  If it is really cold, cover it to keep it warm.

Keep rescue numbers in your phone Rescue numbers-throughout australia

SLOW DOWN, scan the road and roadside ahead when in the country, and don’t install barbed wire or ringlock fencing if you own property.

Finally, please Donate!!! 🙂

 

Donations to Wild about Wildlife

 

WAW just had a story featured on U.S. animal news website The Dodo. 

Kangaroo Loves Helping Mom Feed His New Baby Brother

 

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Sorry, Australian government, I have to agree with Johnny on one thing, stop wasting taxpayers money on follies like chasing two millionaires around the world, and then fining them a pathetic $1000. Start spending some money on helping our land’s beleaguered original inhabitants.

If you don’t, and I ever meet a magic genie, I will wish for you all be made to sit through every ‘quirky’ Johnny Depp fillum ever made…

 

…a more cruel and unsual punishment than even Hannibal could come up with…

 

aahl

 

…but not quite as cruel as Barnaby.*

 

 

RSPCA Election 2016 petition

* to give BJ some credit, he was very considered in his response to the news of JD’s announced divorce.  There is a heart in there!

Week 13 Coalition Against Duck Shooting (Australia)

*Snap* …just like that, we are a quarter of the way through the year already!

*Quackle* …and now suddenly it is open slather for eco-terrorists as duck hunting season begins where it hasn’t already been banned (Allowed : Victoria, SA, Tas, NT. Banned: QLD, NSW, and WA)

“We’ve got declining populations anyway, so it would be prudent to try to hold off in these dry times.”

-Richard Kingsford,Aerial Surveryor of Australian waterbird numbers and ecosystems

-unrecovered kills from a previous season

*Pop* … hopefully the celebratory sound of bottles of Chateau Champiss being opened when this cruel bloodbath is finally seen for what it is and outlawed entirely.

Why hasn’t it been banned yet?  Quite likely due to the organised voting power of the hunters, even though the majority of Victorians are against it, according to The Saturday Paper reporter, Andrew Stafford:

As duck numbers dwindle, the Victorian government’s decision to support this year’s hunting season has sparked claims the regulatory body is biased.

Illustration: Matt Golding

He continues: The Game Management Authority estimates the total harvest from the 2015 season, based on hunter diaries, was 203,934 ducks – 53 per cent of the long-term average of 382,447. An estimated 80,610 were shot on opening weekend. But those figures do not include illegally killed non-game species, the injured, or birds that could not be recovered. Richard Kingsford said the majority of ducks killed are juveniles, victims of their own inexperience.

The Saturday Paper – Victorian Duck Hunting Season

These figures only reflect the ducks that were legally shot and retrieved. 

It is estimated that only 1 in 4 birds shot are retrieved.  Tens of thousands of others are left to die slowly and painfully, unable to eat with shattered beaks or unable to fly with damaged wings, their bodies left to rot away pointlessly. 

Meanwhile the ecosystem becomes polluted with shot and shells.

These are wild birds living in dwindling natural, publically owned reserves – they are not threatening agriculture.

Imagine if hundreds of people came into my home and started firing away while I was unarmed and minding my own business- would anybody consider this sport, or a ‘game’ as the name suggests, even if I ran for my life?

This is just a cowardly expression of bloodlust by people who want all the rights and no responsibilities. I bet they would never calmly accept the affront of a stranger so much as beeping at them in traffic, but they are willing to act like they’re in the wild west when the (fire)power is all in their hands.

This week my immense appreciation goes to these truly game people:

Coalition Against Duck Shooting

ducks

Facebook – Coalition Against Duck Shooting

Please use this Animals Australia form to call for an end to the slaughter :  Take Action

Or write to:

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews

South Australian Premier Jay Wetherill

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles

Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman

 

If Queensland can ban it, anywhere can!

Together we can make a change.

 

 

 

 

Week 11 Fauna Rescue of South Australia (Australia)

Koala Koala – we love you
But we chop down your home
And you run
Koala, Koala – where do you go
When we take your gum tree away?

Please don’t run on the road
And please don’t cry
Help is on its way

-John Williamson ‘Koala Koala’

Growing up, Australian kids learn the amazing fact that koalas never need to drink water. The name ‘koala’  derives from the ancient Dharug* or Iyora Aboriginal languages’ word for them, which some have said translates as meaning ‘no drink’.

Usually this is the case, but recently there have been quite a few instances of them being caught on camera having a sly drink…of course there are more cameras around nowadays, but also the recent drought has meant the eucalyptus leaves contain less than their usual amount of water (normally about 55%).  Habitat destruction also gives animals less options to move on when times get tough and bushfires of course are another threat to our little mates.

It seems that recent conditions are just more than a koala can bear… Almost as bad as that joke, even! (They aren’t actually bears btw, they are marsupials which means they carry their tiny babies or ‘joeys’ in a small pouch with an incuded milk bar.)

South Australia has suffered some terrible bushfires recently, but despite the extra workload the good folks at Fauna Rescue managed to get a volunteer to take this one year old girl to Adelaide Animal Hospital overnight for evaluation, fortunately she was found to be healthy and soon released.

koala.jpg

Koala asks cyclists for water

It seems that running onto the road might sometimes be a good survival strategy

-but please take care, Blinky and Nutsy!

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Fauna Rescue of S.A. Incimage

 

Our policy is to Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release.

We have all kinds of native species coming in for care: Pelicans, birds of prey, Magpies, Parrots, ducklings and nectar feeding birds like Honeyeaters, Wattlebirds and Lorikeets.

We also care for wildlife such as Possums, Kangaroos, Echidnas, Bats, Reptiles and Tortoises.

Each year we rescue around 2,000 animals/birds & reptiles.

Over the last few years there has been a huge increase in the amount of rescued wildlife coming in to Fauna Rescue. Due to this we need to raise more funds to cope with our spiralling costs of caring for wildlife. Some of these costs include veterinary care, first aid equipment (medication, heat pads etc), specialised dietary requirements, possum nesting boxes, kangaroo compounds, aviaries, cages and day to day running expenses.. We already spend many hours a week fundraising but are falling short of monies needed.

Thank you, John Williamson, I’m gonna send in some money today.

Fauna Rescue of S.A. Inc

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What all the kool koalas drank out of in the eighties:

Image result for blinky bill drinking

 

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharug_language

Examples of Dharuk words  (spoken in the region now known as Sydney) that have survived in English are:

Names of animals: dingo, koala, wallaby and wombat

Trees and plants: burrawang, kurrajong, geebung and waratah

The tools boomerang, a word from the Turuwal sub-group, and woomera (spear-thrower)

Week 8 Kilmore Wildlife Shelter (Australia)

Last week, on his way to work, my partner crested a hill to see a large kangaroo trying to drag itself across the road with a shattered leg.  As is sadly so typical, there was no sign of the driver who had done the damage and continued apathetically on their way.

We are extremely grateful to Kilmore Wildlife Shelter for responding to my partner’s pre-dawn call;  at an hour when most of us are still working on our bed hair, they had the generosity of heart to sincerely thank him for calling 🙂

Why don’t people who are caring for our animals ever get any recognition at Australian of the Year awards?

What should you do if you see injured wildlife? 

I previously asked another carer about this and she said you can ring Triple Zero if in Australia, I haven’t done this and would advise using your discretion, but if it is a large animal, that requires immediate attention, especially if it may cause a ‘traffic hazard’, this seems like a good option, which has the advantage of being nationwide and 24 hour.

Save the number of local wildlife rescuers in your phone under ‘W’ for wildlife.  It is good to have a few numbers as these  organisations are overworked and under resourced and may not answer the phone immediately.

If an animal is small enough that you can safely and carefully move it, most vets will accept and care for injured wildlife free of charge – please call them first though.

Oh and please consider making a donation to a charity to thank them for care given or as an alternative gift for someone.

 

‘Kilmore’ may not be the best name for a town which boasts not one, but two wildlife shelters; maybe the town could change its names to ‘Savemore’ instead?!  (Of course humane euthanasia is another extremely valuable service that wildlife carers also provide in a worst case scenario…if only we humanimals could legally access something similar…)

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Kilmore Wildlife Shelter

Kilmore Wildlife Shelter's profile photo

The Kilmore Wildlife Shelter is operated by Dr. Robyn Coy who has spent a lifetime involved in the study and care of Australian wildlife. The shelter is now one of the largest in Victoria, attending to hundreds of animals each year and controlling over 600 acres of land dedicated to wildlife conservation. Robyn is assisted by a small but dedicated team of volunteers.

The shelter has excellent facilities for all types of wildlife from tiny marsupial mice and bats, to lizards and turtles, echidnas, birds of prey, parrots, possums, wombats, wallabies and kangaroos. Robyn has specialized in the care of kangaroos and wallabies for many years, and has the experience and expertise to handle and care for these large marsupials which few in Victoria can match.

An Emergency Treatment and Training Centre was established at the shelter following the Black Saturday fires, when the shelter was called on to care for hundreds of injured wildlife without access to any wildlife hospital facilities.

 

 

Save them or kill them?

<p>Illustration: Geoff Richardson

Text: Eleanor Nurse

Our kangaroos are hunted in the largest commercial slaughter of land-based wildlife on the planet and hunters are permitted by law to take not only males but also females with joeys in pouch and dependent young. 

The roo meat industry treats these joeys as collateral damage in the hunt for profits. 

Under the relevant industry Codes of Practice that govern the hunts, shooters are instructed to “euthanase” the joeys of any female who is killed either by decapitation or a single blow or shot to the head. 

Those who are not caught and killed will most likely die as a result of starvation, exposure or predation without the protection of their mothers.

All of this happens in the wild and at night, hidden from public view. 

This might be why so many Australians are on board with kangaroo meat. The kangaroo industry has escaped the scrutiny levelled against many of Australia’s other meat industries in part because it is nearly impossible to get a look at the killing. 

Unlike most animals killed for food who are pre-stunned and slaughtered in abattoirs, kangaroos are shot in rural areas, usually from afar, and in complete darkness. 

The industry codes do stipulate they must be shot in the “brain”, but this is not an easy job. 

In 2002, the RSPCA estimated that 120,000 kangaroos are  “body shot” each year, wounded but not killed.

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If you want to understand just how brutal these killing sprees are, watch the Australian cult classic film ‘Wake in Fright’.  It is real footage and it is sickening.

 

Week 1 Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary (Australia)

In the wake of the Christmas Day  2015 Great Ocean Road fire in Victoria, Australia I thought a good way to start a year’s worth of giving an ‘f’ would be to start with the poor animals who lost their habitat, and nearly their lives in the fires.

Jirrahlinga Wildlife Santuary was started in response to the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983.  Once again, their services will be desperately needed to help wildlife on the long road to recovery following this fire.

Jirrahlinga also offers a place for people with special needs to find a sense of place and purpose amongst the quiet company of animals.

 

Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary

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This particular fire is was started by lightning, sadly most fires (about 90%) are caused by people.  Fortunately there are other people who work hard to stop them.  Many thanks to the wonderful people of the CFA who put in an incredible effort to contain it and prevent any loss of human life.

Rest in Peace, the poor animals and plants who didn’t escape.

Jirrahlinga Koala & Wildlife Sanctuary - Call (03) 5254 2484