Some of you may have received my last weeks email on “Sparky”, the injured & orphaned baby Eastern Grey Kangaroo. Wonderful volunteers Karl & Heather, from Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast, brought Sparky & some of Sparky’s native little friends along to introduce them to us all on the Saturday just been. We all learnt a lot, got plenty of cuddles & I took loads of photo’s to show you. We have decided to follow “Sparky’s” road to recovery over the coming months & I will keep you in the loop periodically. To find out about “Sparky’s amazing brush with death, what is involved with Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast & to see what we got up to here on Saturday, be sure to check out the link.
I first met Karl & Heather years ago as customers of Camping Country Australia. I can’t remember exactly how the conversation started, but I do remember them telling me that they looked after orphaned & injured animals…. not only that, they did this even when they went camping! (They run the incubator through an 240volt inverter from a 12 volt battery). As volunteers they do an amazing job that keeps them busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. How is that for dedication!?
Karl & Heather do such a good job at Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast that I wanted to do something to help get their name out & into the Sunshine Coast Community. So rather than give a write up myself I asked Karl & Heather to put a little something together from themselves & this they did. Make sure you read their story below.
Before I go, one last thing. We have decided to follow “Sparky’s” road to recovery over the next few months. I have met Sparky personally & he is doing really well as you will read below. It’s hard to believe that this little 8 month old hairless Eastern Grey Kangaroo will stand as tall as me when he is fully grown. So make sure you keep up to date as we follow his Journey.
Thanks Karl & Heather for all the hard work you. For those of you who are interested in helping Karl & Heather in any way shape or form, please click on the link at the bottom of this page & contact them directly.
We founded Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast a several years ago with a view to giving our local community a point of contact for any injured native wildlife 24-7-365. We get calls at all hours to rescue all types of local native wildlife and won’t hesitate at all to give the necessary assistance. Like all wildlife carers we volunteer to do this so we have to provide the time and finances to do all the associated tasks.
Wildlife caring is a pastime that is full time. Luckily, we have employers that are sympathetic and let us forgo our lunch breaks so we can do those 3 hourly feeds around the clock even at work. We are constantly doing courses or training other carers in various aspects of our wildlife. We must keep our knowledge as up to date as possible to satisfy government requirements of native animal carers.
All governments around Australia have mandated that no native wildlife can be kept by a member of the public unless they have the required qualifications such as being a member of a wildlife group, having the correct housing/enclosures, not in proximity to domestic pets etc etc, and the list goes on. The reasons for this is that Australian wildlife are very unique in the world and require specialised care. There is nothing more heartbreaking than to be called by a member of the public as they have had a baby possum for a few weeks and feeding it “cows” milk 3 times a day and that they don’t think it is doing too well. The outcomes of these cases are not good for the animal and can be very frustrating to those of us doing the rescue call outs.
No matter what the adversity we are will always do what we can for our native wildlife at any time of the day and only ask that everyone understand the plight of ALL our native animals.
Sparky is an orphaned baby Eastern Grey Kangaroo from the Sunshine Coast. Sparky was in mum’s pouch a few weeks ago, at night, when a pack of domestic dogs tried to attack his mum and a few other kangaroos at Yaroomba. During the attack, and subsequent chase by the dogs, baby Sparky was thrown from mum’s pouch onto some grass and left behind. Sparky spent most of the early hours of the morning curled up very cold on the ground calling for mum. A baby kangaroo at this age (4 months) is always in mum’s pouch 24/7 for warmth and mum’s milk and is just starting to have open eyes. They wouldn’t be coming out of the pouch until about the 9 to 10 months of age.
Luckily a passing early morning walker found Sparky on the grass very cold but still alive. The person gave Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast a call and we went out immediately to collect Sparky so we could assess his condition and give the care only a trained carer can give.
Apart from being cold and a little dehydrated, Sparky was in good condition. We warmed him slowly and gave him subcutaneous fluid injections to get his hydration back to normal. After a few hours we gave Sparky some special milk formula especially designed and manufactured for kangaroos as all native Australian animals are lactose intolerant and will die if given regular dairy milk or milk substitutes such as soy etc.
Sparky is settling in really well and is eating his quota of milk every 3 hours around the clock… just like a human baby! He currently weighs 608gms and will eventually weigh up to approx 80kg. His eyes are now fully open and he is starting to shed a bit of his skin as he grows. Normally mum’s pouch is a very oily environment to keep the joey’s skin nice and soft. Sparky is getting regular smothering’s of sorberlene to keep his skin moist. Sparky lives in a hi-tech temperature and humidity controlled incubator to keep him as close as possible to the conditions he would be experiencing in his mother’s pouch.
It will be a long journey for Sparky and he will be in care for about 18 months until he is ready to be released with other Kangaroos. Sparky will eventually be released in an unpopulated area out west from the Sunshine Coast.
We are often called out for native animal rescues due to dog, cat, fox and even human attacks on our very special native wildlife. It can be very sad at times knowing that people don’t care and that they don’t believe their dog or cat could do such a horrible thing.
A recent university study revealed, that on average, every night in Australia feral and domestic cats kill or severely injure 5 native species. The study estimates that there are 15 million feral and domestic cats “on the loose” each night so that is 75 million native Australian animals being killed each night. That’s right, each night! These figures don’t include dog or fox attacks, motor vehicle strikes or poisoning. Our very unique and special native animals are really in trouble.
Hopefully, the work Wildlife Rescue Sunshine Coast does in the local community will make a difference and help those native animals that can’t ask for our help.
We hope that you will follow some of Sparky’s journey as he grows up and grows some fur and takes some of his first wobbly hops out of his man made pouch.
Karl & Heather
If you have any questions for Karl & Heather please feel free to contact them directly with an email (Click here)
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