Constant care and a demanding night-time feeding routine are all part of the job for wildlife rescue volunteer Teresa Mort.
Teresa has been involved with the wildlife care and rescue group FAWNA for several years and gives her time to help sick and injured wildlife recuperate and get back into the wild.
“Most of the birds, kangaroos and wallabies that come in have been hit by cars,” she said.
“It’s about looking after them and healing their injuries then getting them back into the wild where they belong.”
Teresa is currently caring for four birds at her home in Bulahdelah and has also cared for tawny frogmouths, baby wallabies, possums, bats, reptiles and a “teeny-weeny sugar glider.”
“The little babies require feeding every couple of hours so you are always up warming milk,” she said.
“During the day you just have a little pouch and carry them everywhere.”
FAWNA is the only all-species group licensed in the area ranging from Bulahdelah to Kempsey and west to Stroud and Gloucester.
In the last financial year, FAWNA’s volunteers handled over 3400 sick and injured animals, birds and reptiles.
Teresa said the first few hours after finding injured wildlife are critical.
“It’s important to keep them somewhere dark, warm and feeling secure until you can get them to a carer,” she said.
“Sometimes people will find a cute little baby that’s injured and will hold or cuddle it, but this can scare them terribly and they can die of fright.”
Teresa also said it’s important not to feed injured wildlife when found.
“They need to be re-hydrated properly and quite often people will try to feed them human milk or bread dipped in milk which is the worst thing for them,” she said.
“As a carer, seeing them recuperate and get back into the wild is the best part,” Teresa added.
Sick or injured wildlife can be reported by phoning FAWNA’s 24-hour rescue hotline on 6581 4141.
By Daniel SAHYOUN