Dutch Thunder Wildlife Care and Rescue in Koonoomoo takes in injured animals and wildlife.TONI BRIENT January 24, 2014 4:10am
There are always plenty of visitors stopping by Kylee Donkers’ house in Koonoomoo, especially in extreme weather.
Most of the guests are in desperate need of medical care.
But her home hospital is not for humans; Mrs Donkers’ patients have wings, feathers and fur.
Mrs Donkers and husband James started Dutch Thunder Wildlife Care and Rescue about three years ago.
Although it’s licensed through the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries, the centre is solely funded by Mr and Mrs Donkers.
The couple have more than 30 animals to treat and feed, a number which spiked during last week’s heatwave.
‘‘I get up to 25 calls a day, and the majority of the time all I have to say to people is that (the animals) are hot,’’ Mrs Donkers said.
‘‘We’re saying to people please just put shallow dishes of water out for the birds and the possums.
‘‘We’ve literally got possums falling out of trees at the moment because they’re just so hot and they don’t cope with it.’’
There were four orphaned kangaroo joeys at Dutch Thunder when the Courier visited last week.
Mrs Donkers said it cost about $2000 to rear each joey until it was big enough to be released into the local kangaroo mob.
She also had three koalas in care, two of which were injured during dog attacks.
The third koala, Mulberry, was orphaned after its mother died from complications after being hit by a car.
By Monday, a further nine koalas had been treated at Dutch Thunder for dehydration.
Mrs Donkers said there was usually a high volume of calls from people who were concerned about koalas during the heat.
She said she was pleased with people’s attention to animals.
‘‘If anything’s laying down, we’re telling people to ring up straight away because that normally means they’re past hot and they’re getting to the dehydrated stage,’’ she said.
However Mrs Donkers said it was important not to get too close to injured wildlife, who would often become agressive and carried diseases.
In addition to the kangaroos and koalas, Mrs Donkers was also caring for a squirrel glider, about 12 possums, cockatoos, magpies, ducks and a kingfisher bird.
She said people should check with a wildlife expert before ‘‘rescuing’’ infant animals, especially ducks and magpies.
‘‘We get a lot of people thinking they’re doing the right thing — ‘a little duckling down by the river so we’ll pick him up and take him’ — but sometimes they’re better left for mum to find them,’’ Mrs Donkers said.
She advised people who felt they needed to recue animals in immediate danger to advise wildlife shelters of the exact location so the animal could be returned to its parents.
‘‘A lot of people say that once you’ve touched an egg in a nest, or a baby chick, its parents won’t accept it; won’t take it back,’’ Mrs Donkers said.
‘‘That’s not true; its just a fallacy.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.