Wildlife care book

The Advocate (Perth) - - NEWS - Lisa Thomas

Some par­tic­i­pants in the com­ing Christ­mas in Elfen­brook fes­ti­val and pageant pre­par­ing for the event on De­cem­ber 9. A SWAN View res­i­dent has writ­ten a chil­dren’s book about the crit­i­cally en­dan­gered western swamp tor­toise in the hope of ed­u­cat­ing the younger gen­er­a­tion about car­ing for na­tive wildlife.

The book Westy the Western Swamp Tor­toise is a pic­ture book us­ing real pho­tos of the species and tells the story of Westy, from his time hatch­ing at the Perth Zoo breed­ing pro­gram to be­ing re­leased in the swamp in Bulls­brook and learn­ing how to sur­vive.

Au­thor Cathy Levett, a for­mer pri­mary school teacher and part of the Friends of the Western Swamp Tor­toise group, wrote the book to help ed­u­cate chil­dren at schools.

She said the best way to com­mu­ni­cate with chil­dren about is­sues was through books.

“There wasn’t a book that would do the job we wanted, so I de­cided to do it my­self,” she said. “I’m re­ally chuffed about how the book has been re­ceived.

“It’s the first book I’ve writ­ten and shar­ing books with chil­dren has al­ways been a pas­sion of mine, so to write one that will also help raise aware­ness is a dream.”

The western swamp tor­toise was thought ex­tinct for 100 years when, in 1953, two were found on the side of a road in Bulls­brook.

Since then work has gone into en­sur­ing their sur­vival, with the species ex­pected to be taken off the crit­i­cally en­dan­gered list in the next five years. Westy the Western Swamp Tor­toise can be bought from www.west­ern­swamp tor­toise.com.au.

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