15 Jan Turtles, Bats… and more!
What do you do when you live in a biodiverse area with flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world, and you are a caring and compassionate person? You become a wildlife rehabilitator to help conserve the precious fauna in your corner of the planet.
Just over twenty years ago a small group of such people, living in and around the City of Albany in Western Australia, met and formed a group, Born Free Wildlife Carers, that would support its members in their work rehabilitating local fauna.
Today, the group has over twenty members and its president, Sue, is a well-known specialist in marine and freshwater turtle rehabilitation and conservation. The area has a population of the Western long necked turtles, some of which have the habit of laying their eggs in unsafe places such as people’s front lawns, road verges and other places frequented by dogs, cats and, sometimes, children. When this happens Sue and the other reptile rehabilitators frantically dig up the eggs and remove them from harm’s way, rushing them to their incubators for the hatching period. Finally, these little creatures are released into the freshwater habitat they were always destined for.
Of course, as a wildlife rehabilitator Sue also looks after other species, one of these being microbats. In her own words, “My best story, I still think, is of the microbat colony that lost its home when a roof was removed…mums fled leaving 12 tiny pinkies and just-furred babies…I took them home and tried the relentless task of trying to hand feed 12 micro mouths….kept them warm during that day in a heat box and took back to property that night at dusk….opened the lid and dozens of little microbats swarmed the heat box and took back every little baby.” A very happy ending.