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Hawkesbury volunteers a lifeline for wildlife

May 23, 2023

“These guys could be in a pouch for a day or two before they succumb to the cold,” WIRES wildlife carer, Sandra Connor says as she feeds five month old Matty, who has been in her care for a little more than a month.

“Luckily for Matty his rescuer stopped, checked the mother’s pouch and today we have a healthy swamp wallaby who otherwise would have died.”

Sandra is one of many volunteers we are celebrating in the Hawkesbury as National Volunteers’ Week comes to an end.

For eight years, Sandra has worked as a volunteer wildlife rescuer for WIRES. She specalises in macropods – kangaroos and wallabies, 90 percent of whom come to her care as orphans after being hit by cars.

Matty, came into Sandra’s care last month. Named after his rescuer, Matty was found in his dead mother’s pouch on the road at Spencer.

 

Fed a specialised diet for each stage of growth and “toileted” after each feed, Sandra has nursed him to health. Matty will spend the next eight months in care before he is released back to the bush with another rescued orphan.

In the meantime, Sandra is kept busy with five specialised formula feeds, two water feeds, and 20 minutes in the sun each day. At one stage she had three joey’s in care all at once.

“Volunteering is important to me because without volunteers orphan joey’s like Matty wouldn’t survive. I chose to volunteer for WIRES because I love animals, especially our native wildlife.  WIRES have trained me to look after joeys and possums and birds, but I love the macropods, the kangaroo and wallaby joeys,” Sandra said.

“It’s very satisfying but it can also be devastating when they die in care obviously. It’s heartbreaking to see their mums at the scene who have been killed by cars.”

“To be a mum to them, to feed them, to give them the warmth and enrichment that they need as they get a bit older and to see them returned to the wild is really satisfying.”

“It’s tiring but you see them grow and see their individual personalities. Our aim is to provide them with warmth and food and return them to the wild as a healthy sub-adult and that’s where you want them to be.”

Sandra said it was common to find joeys in their mothers pouches at this time of year and checking dead animals pouches could save the lives of their babies. But she cautioned only to check if it was safe and if not, call WIRES.

If you find wildlife that needs rescuing, please call 1300 094 737

To all our volunteers, thank you!

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