Birds suf­fer­ing shock­ing in­juries from shoot­ers

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page -

THIS is just one of sev­eral birds shot over the Christ­mas break, then left for dead.

Wildlife ca­reers Peter and Glenda Har­vey say ev­ery school hol­i­days their sanc­tu­ary is flooded with birds who have been se­ri­ously in­jured by ‘kids’ look­ing for some­thing to do.

‘‘Ev­ery school hol­i­days we get this,’’ Mr Har­vey said.

‘‘Happy hunt­ing sea­son for kids . . . it’s ei­ther kids or kids who haven’t ma­tured.

‘‘I’ll get 10 to 15 birds with bul­let holes in them over the Christ­mas break. Some can be saved, some can’t.’’

Mr Har­vey said his most re­cent bird vic­tims were bought in suf­fer­ing shock­ing gun­shot in­juries to their wings.

‘‘But they’re the lucky ones,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s a heap that just die out in the scrub like mon­grel dogs that just starve to death,’’ he said.

‘‘But the dis­turb­ing part of it is that it hap­pens in the sub­urbs as well, it’s not just rural.

‘‘I’ve got a lit­tle keol . . . he was shot and found at the back of Vin­cent Vil­lage.’’

The sec­ond bird, a white cock­a­too, was found shot on Forestry Rd near Blue­wa­ter.

‘‘The white cock­a­too’s in­juries (ap­pear to be) from a BB gun be­cause of the amount of shat­ter­ing on the bone,’’ he said.

‘‘He needs surgery on his arm be­cause the bone is shat­tered.

‘‘. . . he was bought into me two days ago but by the look of him he was shot over a week ago.

‘‘He has been sit­ting in the scrub with no wa­ter and no food and with th­ese hor­rific in­juries un­til some­one was kind enough to bring him in.’’

Mr Har­vey ap­pealed to the com­mu­nity for help to save the cock­a­too.

‘‘I am pre­pared to put him into long term care for 10 to 20 years, what­ever it takes,’’ Mr Har­vey said.

He said the cost for surgery would be in the vicin­ity of $400, but it was a cost he and his wife could not af­ford.

‘‘If some­one out there wants to help pay the $400 so it can have a sec­ond chance at life I would be very grate­ful,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s in­hu­mane and it’s to­tally un­nec­es­sary.’’

Mr Har­vey pleaded with par­ents to su­per­vise their chil­dren or en­cour­age them into other ac­tiv­i­ties.

‘‘If the chil­dren want tar­get prac­tice, whether it’s air ri­fles, BB guns or what­ever firearms . . . their par­ents should set them up a line of tins and they can shoot them.

‘‘No one wants to dob any­one (re­spon­si­ble) in but I just wish they would.’’

Mr Har­vey said over the last two days, about six birds had been brought into the sanc­tu­ary suf­fer­ing a range of in­juries from be­ing shot to birds that were starv­ing.

Any­one who sees wildlife in­jured has been urged to con­tact the RSPCA.

Pho­tos:EVANMORGANOIR94205 ONK05173

SENSE­LESS . . . Peter Har­vey with the wounded white cock­a­too

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