Last Saturday night I was part of a chain of warm-hearted happenings: people who gave selflessly for something greater than themselves. I wanted to share it.
As a fairly new WIRES volunteer, I was called to go to the Treehouse restaurant to check on the state of a little wallaby that someone had rung in about. The story I heard there was incredible.
Mick, up on holidays from Melbourne, had been sitting on his balcony overlooking Belongil Creek when he saw a number of dogs chasing a wallaby towards the water. He saw the wallaby race into the creek in order to get away from them… and not come up again.
Without hesitation, Mick dived into the water and pulled the little wallaby out of the water, only to find it had died. Remembering the First Aid course he had attended just a few months before, he performed CPR on the tiny, limp animal. After ten minutes, the little wallaby started coughing up the water that had filled his lungs and Mick called WIRES.
I got the call and drove out to find Mick at the Treehouse; a bit shaken, clutching his beer and the beautiful baby wallaby wrapped up warmly in a blanket given by the restaurant. I congratulated him and took the little one home to await the call for a WIRES specialist. You see, these tiny little wallabies can die from stress; their organs can shut down very quickly after such an experience, even though they seem to have no obvious injuries.
The call came from Renata and we raced little ‘Lucky’ the six-month-old baby wallaby to Clunes where he was picked up by her and taken for intensive care: sedation while his organs recovered and rehydration. He will be in her care for three more months before being released.
These WIRES volunteers are some of the most passionate, loving and practical people I have met and I am proud to now be one of them. The local ‘My Vet’ people out at the industrial estate also give their time and medicines generously to help the injured animals of all shapes and sizes delivered to their door.
This is a story of people in our community connecting to help each other for the sake of our beautiful native animals. If you feel like being part of such an organisation, you will be warmly welcomed as I was. Do call them when you find an injured native animal; they are happy to give advice or to come and help any time of the day or night. And thanks to Mick for his open-hearted, heroic instincts.
Lynne Holian, Byron Bay