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WIRES: Weaving a World of Love for Australian Wildlife - P2/2   
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Noble viewers, welcome to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Today’s show is the second and concluding part of our exciting journey to the state of New South Wales in southeastern Australia, where we talk again with passionate wildlife caregivers from the Northern Rivers branch of the New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES).

WIRES is the largest wild animal rescue network in Australia. Founded in1985, the group’s mission is to rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife, while informing and inspiring others to do the same. In 2009 alone, WIRES rescued more than 75,000 animals, 3,000 of whom were members of threatened species found across this magnificent state.

The first wildlife care organization was actually registered in Australia, so it’s gained momentum over the years, and I think as we get stronger and stronger and more people actually realize that “Gee, when I was a kid, there used to be heaps of these animals around, now you virtually don’t see them.”

We are having a huge impact on our wildlife in Australia, and I think it’s up to each individual person living here to try and do something about it. And we all can, even people that work full-time can be involved to some extent, be that answering the phone at night, or answering letters if they’re good at writing.

Kangaroos, Wallabies, and Pademelons enliven the Australian forests and scrublands and their vibrant, delightful presence bring immense benefits to their surrounding environment and the Australian people.

I’ve watched Wallabies increase in our local area here; our vegetation has actually changed, our grasses have changed, because they bring in seed. There are certain things like truffles, for instance, that the little Pademelons and certain other species will dig up, that live amongst eucalyptus roots. Things like that are actually dispersed into other areas by these animals.

We seem to think as humans that we’re so superior, but we tend to forget that we’re just a very small link in a massive chain. As we’re losing species, I think we could also be in danger of losing ourselves eventually. I think it’s so important for us to realize we are just another animal on this Earth. We don’t have exclusive rights.

Unfortunately a common way that Kangaroos, Wallabies and other marsupials of the Marcopod family are injured in Australia is through road accidents. Sue Ulyatt, Kangaroos and Wallabies coordinator for WIRES Northern Rivers now shares what her group recommends the public do if they encounter an injured Kangaroo or Wallaby on the road.

In a lot of cases, if a mother Wallaby or Kangaroo is injured, if she has a joey in the pouch, in the majority of cases, the joey is actually unharmed. They’re very, very protected in the pouch because of where it’s located between the hips. So what we ask for people to do is if you do injure one, stop and check. Or if you see one lying on the road, stop and check because if it is a female she’s more than likely got a joey in the pouch. And it will be unharmed. If we can get it fast enough, they have a really good chance of survival.

Birds are very vulnerable to flying into human-made objects like glass windows and hurting themselves. Approximately 80% of WIRES’ rescues involve birds and Melanie Barsony, bird coordinator for WIRES Northern Rivers will now give a tip about protecting our avian friends from this danger.

For some reason the birds often can’t notice that there’s an obstacle there, especially if it’s a bright sunny day and there’s a lot of reflection on the window glass. So the fast flying birds, like particularly the lorikeets will fly straight and knock themselves out, sometimes causing permanent damage, but sometimes recovering.

So if you do have windows and you notice that the birds fly into them a lot, you can hang something on the outside of the window, like a potted plant, something like that. Or one of those window stickers, the décors that are like stained glass stickers, just putting them on your window, they look nice and also they just break up the space so the bird can see that there’s actually something there and it’s not, an extension of the tree.

Trees are invaluable and serve so many purposes on our planet. Besides taking in carbon dioxide and releasing fresh oxygen for all living beings to breathe, they are a natural home to a host of different animals. Whenever even one tree is felled, the surrounding environment is deeply affected.

Even a big food tree like a native fig tree, once that’s gone that tree would have supported such a huge amount of animals and birds and wildlife with food and hollows for nests. They are like apartment blocks or apartment complexes.

So many just depend on them and live in them. So we just have to be more aware of that and try to do the least amount of damage as we can. Housing developments shouldn’t go into sensitive areas. If we use a bit of foresight we can actually avoid a lot these problems.

When we return we’ll speak further with more compassionate carers from WIRES, as well as meet some interesting Australian wildlife. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

They’re as varied as the human personalities are, you’ve got exactly the same in the animal world. They get hurt, they get embarrassed. They like to play when they’re young and they become more serious as they get older. It’s very much a thing that brings you back to Earth, working with wildlife is realizing we’re not that different.

Welcome back to today’s Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants featuring the New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service or WIRES, the largest wildlife rescue organization in Australia. Besides its bird and marsupial specialists, WIRES also trains carers to rehabilitate injured members of the reptile family. Let’s now meet some of these fascinating animals, starting with the Coastal Carpet Python, a large non-venomous snake found in Australia.

This Carpet Snake’s been in care for, going on three months now; he had an injury from a whipper snipper, which had made a 10-, 15-centimeter gash penetrating into his body, so he’s been to the vet a number of times and he’s pretty much ready for release.

This guy’s eyes are turning a different color, he’s about to shed his skin within the next week or so. All that scar tissue will come off there, all the necrotic stuff will come off and he’ll be right to go back home.

And this guy he might be 15, 20 years old so he’ll be happy to go back home to where he came from.

The reason I like rehabbing all the snakes, once rehabilitation’s complete you get that satisfaction of releasing the snake back to where he came from. And it can take months and months and months to get them to that stage, but it’s just a passion to try and help the animal, so they are not suffering, and get him back healthy so he can go back to where he came from. It does take a long time but the satisfaction is right at the end.

He’s an Eastern Long-necked Turtle, to be precise. This one was, we think, hit by a car, and has a crack through his bridge, so he’s been in care for quite a while now, and is very close to being released.

The affection and kindness shown by the wildlife carers are also important factors in helping stressed animals relax.

I think they do definitely pick up your empathy with them; they definitely seem to sense your intent. Quite often we get animals or birds caught on barbed-wire fences. Flying Foxes in particular don’t see it at night time and get tangled in barbed-wire, and they’ll be really distressed and struggling, and once you wrap them, and hold them and start untangling them, they seem to know immediately that you are actually helping them, and they’ll stop struggling and relax and let you do whatever it takes to untangle them from the fence. So, they definitely do sense your intention.

After receiving the tender, loving attention of WIRES’ carers, healthy animals are ready for release. Macropods such as Wallabies and Pademelons are let go into the wild with some companions to help them ease into their new lives.

It’s really important how we actually bring them up because these animals have to be returned to the wild, and they have to be able to cope with the wild. They have to be able to find their own food. They have to learn how to interact with their own species, which we can’t teach them. Only their own species can teach them that.

So the way we bring them up is very young ones together with older ones that are almost ready for release and they teach each other. They become a family group. And we usually release quite a few at the same time, as a little family group. And in most cases they actually stick together for a while to support each other emotionally as they’re going back into the wild, because it must be a massive transition.

Sometimes it has to be what we call a “soft release” situation, whereby they are support fed as they are being integrated back into the wild.

For example, a possum, that’s a common species of wildlife that we have here, Mountain Brushtails and Ringtailed Possums, they are placed in an outside aviary or support cage, and fed without humans being involved, just putting the food in and disappearing from the scene. Then at a certain point the cage is opened and the possum can come back, and find the food that’s been left for them, and at any time he decides that he can manage by himself, he takes himself off into the wild.

For more details on WIRES Northern Rivers, please visit
The main WIRES website can be accessed at

Our sincere thanks once again, Lib Ruytenberg, Sue Ulyatt, Melanie Barsony, Michael McGrath, and Tony Kilmurray and other members of the New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service team for your kind, selfless efforts to rescue, care for and release the precious wildlife co-inhabitants in your state.

May your wonderful work encourage more and more people to carefully consider how their actions affect nature and appreciate how much wild animals contribute to keeping the environment in balance. Gentle viewers, we enjoyed your company today on Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Next up is Enlightening Entertainment after Noteworthy News. May Heaven forever bless all beings with love and protection.
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