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Byron Shire
March 30, 2023

Water dragon saved from the ring

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Mr Ringy the water dragon having his strangulation device removed. Photo WIRES Northern Rivers.

We often hear about how turtles and other sea life are affected by the impact of plastic in their environment bit it isn’t often you hear about a Water dragon with his own necklace.

‘In mid-January this year residents at the village at Southern Cross Drive in Ballina noticed one of the many water dragons seemed to be wearing a less than glamorous adornment,’ said a WIRES spokesperson.

The plastic ring that was around the water dragons neck, who has now been christened ‘Mr Ringy’, appeared to have been a safety seal of a discarded bottle.

‘Judging by the size of the ring and the dragon it appears that he may have been wearing his necklace for quite some time, however, it was now clearly approaching restriction and needed to be removed,’ continued the spokesperson.

Catching a wild and agile water dragon who has plenty of nooks and crannies to hide away in proved challenging and after an initial attempt by WIRES failed it was up to local resident ‘Jan’ to find a way to bring him in.

After many efforts to catch Mr Ringy with no success it became clear that the only way forward was to use a trap. WIRES supplied Jan with a cage and string and, ‘thanks to her endless effort and patience, she finally managed to secure the patient almost five weeks after reporting the concern. A quick visit from a reptile handler from WIRES and the Water dragon was assessed and released. ‘Ringy’s story is a good reminder that a careless approach to our litter can cause great distress to the local wildlife. Please remember to cut all safety seal rings before discarding them,’ the WIRES spokesperson said.

If you see and animal in distress contact WIRES for rescues, advice or enquiries on their 24-hour northern rivers hotline: 6628 1898 or WIRES online. WIRES also conduct volunteer training for people who are interested in getting involved in wildlife rescue.

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  1. If anyone needs wildlife rescue or have questions about wildlife, in the Tweed Valley area, please ring Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers, TVWC, 24 hour hotline 02 6672 4789.
    For all koala rescues/info ring Friends of the Koala on 02 66221233


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