Pub­lic to help wildlife

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Natalie Wynne

DAY­TIME FEED: Bel­gian Gar­dens Year 7 stu­dent Jas­mine Lee snapped this fly­ing fox feed­ing dur­ing

the day in her back yard re­cently THOU­SANDS of na­tive an­i­mals have been left starv­ing in the North fol­low­ing weeks of wild weather.

In the wake of cy­clones A n t h o n y a n d Y a s i , to­gether with weeks of rain, na­tive an­i­mal habi­tats have been washed away or de­stroyed.

RSPCA’s State Wildlife c o - o r d i n a t o r J a n e t Gam­ble said in­spec­tors have en­coun­tered a lot of in­jured birds and a large num­ber of an­i­mals left home­less.

She said ar­eas such as Ing­ham and Tully had ex­pe­ri­enced un­re­lent­ing rain which is hin­der­ing in­spec­tors’ ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

‘ ‘ F r u i t h a s b e e n s t r i p p e d o f f t r e e s , wildlife have noth­ing left to eat,’’ Ms Gam­ble said.

‘ ‘ Al­though t he t rees will re-gen­er­ate, it will take some time.’’

Fly­ing foxes have been sighted feed­ing dur­ing the day with Ms Gam­ble at­tribut­ing the un­usual be­hav­iour to the re­cent weather.

‘ ‘ They’re s o hun­gry they start ven­tur­ing out of nor­mal eat­ing habits,’’ she said.

‘‘ They come out dur­ing the day in­stead of at night.’’

The RSPCA is now ask­ing for the pub­lic’s help to get an­i­mals re-homed and fed. The Queens­land Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Re­source Man­age­ment has es­tab­lished a feed­ing pro­gram for en­dan­gered wildlife in af­fected habi­tat ar­eas.

This in­cludes pro­vid­ing f e e d i n g s t a t i o n s f o r cas­sowaries and other en­dan­gered wildlife.

‘‘ We don’t want to in­ad­ver­tently tame an­i­mals by hand-feed­ing them,’’ Ms Gam­ble said.

‘‘ It’s im­por­tant peo­ple go through Parks and Wildlife and t hrough carer groups to help out.’’

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