Bellingen Market was going Batty – learn more from WIRES

Rangers Haley Henning, Sydney Bats and Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park and Tim Pearson, Consultant Wildlife Ecologist at Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park.

 

BELLINGEN Market on Saturday May 15 was going batty.

With education at the centre of the ‘batty-ness’, the appearance of live Grey-headed flying-foxes was part of a two-week program visiting schools and meeting the public in the Coffs region.

The event was part of a collaboration between Walkabout Wildlife Park, Sydney Bats, WIRES, Coffs Harbour City Council, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the NSW Government’s Saving Our Species program.

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“The live bat display is a public education activity, part of a Saving Our Species grant obtained by Coffs City Council,” Jenny Beatson, Assistant Flying Fox Coordinator, WIRES Mid North Coast Branch, told News Of The Area.

On hand and chatting with locals was Consultant Wildlife Ecologist, Tim Pearson.

Tim is licenced to use live, trained education animals from Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park in public education activities where he talks to students about the valuable role the flying-fox plays in preserving and creating our native forests.

A key message from Tim and the WIRES volunteers was what people should do if they find a bat that needs rescuing.

“Don’t handle it,” said Tim.

“We tell people ‘no touch, no risk’ and to call WIRES.

“Like any wild animal, if it’s sick it’s going to be scared and try to defend itself.”

Coreen Robinson, a local from Dorrigo visited the stand at Bellingen to give a donation as thanks for help she’d received recently.

“I didn’t know what it was that came in the house, whether it was a bird or what, so I rang WIRES – thank goodness we’ve got places like this,” said Coreen.

Maggie Knewstub, the WIRES volunteer who rescued the microbat at Coreen’s home said, “When I found the microbat it was OK so I popped it in the pouch, tucked it down my jumper and took it to Denise Allison, Bat Carer at WIRES Mid North Coast.

“We freed the bat later, I stood for about ten minutes and it flew off and I haven’t heard back,” smiled Maggie.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

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