Have you ever wondered what it’s really like being a wildlife carer? Is it all cuddles, love and joy – every minute of every day? Well, let me be honest……..it mostly is! But it’s also hard work; soul destroying when an animal doesn’t survive despite our best efforts; exhausting getting up around the clock to feed; frustrating constantly gathering browse and preparing feed and bottles; annoying forever cleaning up poo and gawd knows what else…..but yes I love every minute!
As well as being a wildlife carer, I am also a member of the wildlife committee which involves attending monthly meetings; I’m the northside bird co-ordinator which involves finding carers and monitoring the amount of birds in care and writing a monthly report; and I also receive queries from the phone and transport volunteers. I also choose to be on call 24/7 and receive animals around the clock!
There’s also paperwork! Every animal that comes into care has to be recorded with the species type, weight, date, injury or reason for coming into care, finder’s name, and the location where the animal was found. The location is one of the most important aspects so the animal can be released back where It was found to meet our licensing requirements. Every animal’s electronic record is then updated weekly as we record increases in weight, growth and record vet checks and health notes. Once the animal is released (dies or has to be euthanized) that needs to be recorded as well.
One of the best parts of my job is training other carers! I love educating people about wildlife and particularly training others to become carers or to join our organisation. Due to the limit on gatherings during the Covid pandemic, all of our training for 2020 had to be delivered on line via zoom presentations. So we had to re-think the way we train others to make on-line training interactive and interesting. I also like to make the occasional promotional video to encourage others to join or donate.
So this gives you an idea of what it’s like to be a carer. There are also other ways you can support wildlife. You can choose to do as much or as little as you can. We always need donations, carers, admin people, social media people, people who can sew, sell chocolates, run stalls, fundraise, transport animals and of course phone operators. If you have a spare hour or two a week, there’s a way you can help wildlife. Please reach out to us (or your local wildlife organization). We provide training in all areas and you are never alone – we not only support animals – we support each other as we provide the very best care to each and every animal. For more information, have a look at our website http://actwildlife.net.
I’ll be blogging again with more Australian animals in care…. stay tuned! Or follow me on Instagram – wombats_and_wildlife_heljan09.
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