Murwillumbah Library Pond upgrade begun 1 February. On Monday 15 February I checked out the left side where the water dragons live but the pond had been drained as it is part of the main pond. I wondered if they had water to drink especially on hot days.
A cursory examination showed no water for them. I inquired at council’s front desk and was assured there was a water feature near the lower offices and near the Autumn Club.
Again I looked and saw nothing except a water dragon that scrambled under foliage. Back to the counter. Her computer showed that two water features for the dragons were planned with NRM supervision.
Not trusting there was water for them, I purchased a small bowl and filled it with water for them.
On Tuesday I phoned and was reassured the dragons had access to water.
On Wednesday I searched but still found nothing. A construction went to the left side and invited us to follow but found nothing. His supervisor confirmed the matter would be resolved in 30 minutes. Later that day we checked and again found nothing.
Thursday I finally found the ‘water feature’ – stiff grey plastic scrunched up between two big rocks with water in it. How would water dragons be able to scramble up the plastic to get out? With nothing to grip on to they would surely drown. So we put a thick log in so they could climb out.
A week later I checked to see if the water had been changed. It had not. It was putrid so I replaced it with clean water. This has become my weekly ritual because nobody else is doing it.
Out of 700 council employees not one could take the initiative to provide water to these amazing creatures without a member of the public harassing them four days in a row! It would have been a miracle if any water dragons survived council apathy and neglect, if not for my actions. Perhaps council regards animals as resources and not living beings with needs – or they just don’t care?
Menkit Prince, Uki