Whistling kites rescued from Winton Wetlands are being rasied alongside joeys, wombats and possums at the North East Wildlife Rescue Centre in BenallaLIBBY PRICE July 24, 2014 3:20am
North East Wildlife Rescue in Benalla has been working hard to try to save three whistling kites brought in from the Winton Wetlands four weeks ago.
One of the young birds had to be put down by a vet last week when it developed a neurological problem and lost the use of its legs. The remaining two birds have been doing well and have begun attempts at flying.
The kites were brought to the rescue centre after their nest was destroyed when a tree fell over. The mother was nowhere to be seen and a ranger made the special delivery.
Shirley Steegstra runs the wildlife foster centre from her home in Benalla and has been feeding the birds using tweezers.
‘‘When the kites are flying and feeding in the next few weeks when they’re about three months old we hope to take them back to the wetlands. These are the first birds we’ve rescued from there,’’ she said.
Mrs Steegstra has been fostering native animals for more than a decade and began with two birds — a rosella and a tawny frogmouth.
‘‘Both died. I was devastated,’’ she said.
‘‘It wasn’t a great start as a foster carer.’’
It certainly didn’t deter her, though. The house has only been without native wildlife for six weeks out of the past 12 years.
The ‘pinkies’ are the hardest work. They’re the joeys who come in often as a result of the mother being killed on the road. The hairless babies have to be fed every three to four hours; 10
Kangaroos also take a lot longer to raise before they can be set free, and often don’t get accepted back into mobs.
At the moment there’s a young brushtail possum — found at Benalla P-12 College — that requires feeding every several hours until the little possum can fend for itself.
Wombats and wallabies are much easier. There are currently three wombats at the shelter: Zoe (aka Fatty), Rocky and Scooter. Scooter has been struggling with ill-health and the vet isn’t sure what her problem is, but Zoe and Rocky have taken over the house and literally barrel into anything in their path head-first.
There was also the pitter patter of little feet as ‘the twins’ reluctantly appeared for lunch. The two timid swamp wallabies had a quick bottle and returned to their ‘pouches’.
The wallabies are the most adventurous of the lot, and bedroom doors need to be kept closed so they don’t used the beds as a trampoline.
Once they’re ‘‘off the bottle’’ the wombats, kangaroos and wallabies are taken to one of several properties where other volunteers ‘dehumanise’ them and eventually set them free into nearby native forests.
Apart from occasional government grants, the Steegstras pay for everything themselves with a little help from local vets in treating the sick animals.
Neighbourhood Watch Week will start with a sizzle — a sausage sizzle to be precise — at Sevens Creek Dve in Kialla.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
It was clear blue skies last Tuesday for the official launch of the Gargarro (pronounced Ga-gar-ro) Botanic Gardens in Girgarre.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
KATH Bubb has been recognised for 50 years of service with the Ballendella Red Cross.
IT EXPERTISE in Kyabram has received recognition after Advance Computing won a Microsoft Australia Partner Award in the excellence in regional area customer category.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
McIvor Creek – in and around Heathcote – has gone over its banks with all our recent rain, flooding streets and causing closures and detours.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
After a 30-year career as an accountant in Deniliquin, Peter Skipworth officially retires today.
Tuesday, August 16
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