Australia is known for it’s wild life, but it isn’t until you arrive that their passion for saving their native species truly becomes apparent. It’s hard to miss. You see educational signs in every park, wildlife sanctuaries on signs lining highways and even the largest animal shelters here have wildlife hospitals.
This week I toured the Brisbane RSPCA. They are a very successful organization that strives to cut down on the amount of homeless pets, while educating their public on updated pet care. During my tour I was fortunate enough to see their wildlife hospital and rehabilitation center. It was packed full with snakes, birds, possums, lizards, and even an entire room dedicated to koalas. The rooms of wild animals being treated seemed to never end. I proceeded to an area where animals used for wildlife education reside. For one reason or another they cannot be released back into the wild.
As I was holding a very friendly bearded dragon that is used to educate children and groups I was asked, “Are you looking to implement a wildlife program into your nonprofit?” My response was, “I honestly hadn’t thought about it until now.”
It was then that it hit me… I have had my run in with different types of injured wildlife over the years and have always had a hard time locating help in Colorado. Why is this the case in a state that is known for its mountains containing wolves, deer, coyotes and countless other beautiful animals? We have received calls asking if Demi’s Animal Rescue can help with injured or abandoned wildlife, but we are simply not qualified to help and are often clueless on where to even send these people.
After a long and uncomfortable date with Google, I managed to find a helpful site from an organization that rehabilitates Colorado wildlife in Boulder. They have an array of helpful pages on what to do, if you find a wild animal in need. You can find their website at http://www.greenwoodwildlife.org.
During my research I came across a large topic currently being discussed. When is it okay to intervene with wildlife and when is it okay to “let nature take its course?” I reverted back to my experience with the RSPCA… I cannot recall a story I was told about where the animal was being rehabilitated due to “nature.” There were koalas that had been hit by cars or attacked by dogs. There were snakes that had been used to guard a supply of drugs. There were birds that flew into semi trucks and broke their wings. I can’t help but observe that a large portion of these injuries and need for rehabilitation are due to the human population and human development. I want to state that I have not worked with wild animals and would not yet qualify myself to take a stand on this issue, but based off of the small percentage of cases I saw, I couldn’t help but observe this fact.
It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to write this post and couldn’t even decide if it was on topic for our organization. I decided that it was in fact an important topic that we should know and educate people about for these reasons.
- As an animal rescue we get asked if we can help with wildlife. We are now encouraging any animal related charities to provide resources for these people to go. We ourselves are not qualified to help, but we will now direct people to who is qualified and make it more of a priority to be prepared for these inquiries.
- If you are following this blog post in the first place, you are most likely an animal lover. I have found a quite shocking phenomenon… Most people that love a certain group of animals seem to have a soft spot for other groups as well! SHOCKER! Any animal related issue is important and I believe a blog filled with animal lovers is the perfect place for any animal related post to be J
- Wildlife is an especially important topic with our new president. A lot of changes are being considered revolving around our wild friends. This includes wildlife trafficking, hunting, endangered species and more. You can read more about that here http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/11/wildlife-watch-trump-wildlife-trafficking-animal-conservation/
We can all learn something from Australia’s love for their native species. Take note and get involved in your own community. No matter where you are in the world, we should keep our wild friends in mind…
Leave a comment if you know of any wildlife organizations in your community!