A lifetime of looking af­ter in­jured fauna

Erik­sen says she loves her wildlife role

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE - Philippe Co­querand philippe.co­querand@cnbtimes.com.au

BORN in Ti­booburra in New South Wales, Caro­line Erik­sen met the love of her life Den­nis in Mun­dub­bera and has been there ever since.

“I came here 33 years ago, I was work­ing with Mal Adams who was the pre­vi­ous vet who used to be here and I worked for him for 12 years,” Mrs Erik­sen said.

“I’ve been a vet nurse since I was 17 and I’m 68 now, so nearly 50 years.”

The high­light for Mrs Erik­sen is get­ting to re­lease the an­i­mals af­ter they’ve been looked af­ter.

“Re­leas­ing them back into the wild, I love to see them go back into the wild but I’ve still got roos com­ing to the front of the house and I go out there to see them,” she said.

“They come back and I give them a slice of bread or a bit of cel­ery or car­rot and they eat it and off they go and I don’t see them for around a month.”

Mrs Erik­sen has been looking af­ter Amie (pic­tured) for about three months as a car ran over her mother.

“She’ll be an­other 12 months un­til I can re­lease her,” she said.

“I’ve got a lit­tle wal­laby at home, she stands quite high and she’s fully grown but she doesn’t want to leave home, she just hangs around.

“She gets into the chook grain ev­ery now and again and loves it.”

For those who come across kan­ga­roos on the side of the road, Mrs Erik­sen said it was best to check the pouch and then to call a wildlife carer.

“If you see a kan­ga­roo on the road please stop and check the pouch be­cause you never know when one of them is in there,” she said.

“So many peo­ple just drive past, they hit them and they don’t even bother to look in their rear vi­sion mir­ror, just check the pouches to see if any baby can sur­vive.

“Any in­jured an­i­mals: pick them up, put them in a box and keep them quiet. I’ve got a galah out there with an in­jured wing and she’s learn­ing how to fly again, it doesn’t hurt to pick them up.”

Mrs Erik­sen said it was a chal­leng­ing job.

“It is a lot of hard work, when I first got Amie I was feed­ing her ev­ery four hours,” she said.

“That means you’re up dur­ing the night and I’ve got the board­ing ken­nels as well.

“I love looking af­ter them. I wouldn’t do this job if I didn’t love it.”

Mrs Erik­sen rec­om­mends peo­ple call wildlife car­ers for in­jured an­i­mals.

PHOTO: PHILIPPE CO­QUERAND

WILDLIFE CARER: Caro­line Erik­sen has been looking af­ter an­i­mals for al­most 50 years, in­clud­ing lit­tle Amie here, and ab­so­lutely loves it.

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