Currumbin Wildlife hospital vet nurse Shelley Davis attempts to remove oil from a bird’s ruined feathers.
Currumbin Wildlife hospital vet nurse Shelley Davis attempts to remove oil from a bird’s ruined feathers. John Gass

Tweed wildlife injuries rise

ALMOST 1500 Tweed Shire animals were received by the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital last year.

Many were released after recovering with the hospital or a carer, but others arrived dead or were euthanised soon after.

From Tweed Heads 215 animals were rescued, while Banora Point registered 200.

Hospital senior veterinarian Michael Pyne said total numbers currently at 7000 per year were trending upward by 20% annually.

"A number are brought in to us by Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers," Dr Pyne said.

"And I'm not optimistic these numbers will come down.

"We're spreading more and more into their habitat, and unfortunately animals that come from these areas are going to suffer."

Communities such as Murwillumbah and Pottsville recorded 56 and 38 rescues, respectively.

Those lower numbers can be attributed to the areas' distance from the southern Gold Coast hospital, and co-operations between the wildlife carers and local vets.

Reasons for the deaths and injuries range from domestic dog and cat attacks, car strikes and fishing hooks to barbed-wire entanglements, suspected poisoning and being orphaned.

Dr Pyne said his hospital engaged with Tweed and Gold Coast veterinarians and wildlife care groups through education programs.

"We're stretched beyond capacity as it is, so it's important that we work directly with these care groups.

"We do seminars for local vets and nurses because we can't think we can do it all ourselves."

He said as urban growth was not going to slow, education of the public and carers was vital for preventing and managing injured animals.

"There's a lot of people out there who love wildlife, but just don't know where to start," Dr Pyne said.

Examples include a saw-shelled turtle hit by a car at Banora Point in December which died during treatment; a tawny frogmouth entangled in barbed-wire at Cobaki in July which was released by the hospital; and a blue-faced honeyeater from Murwillumbah which was attacked by a cat during April, and euthanised on arrival.



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