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Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

Ringtail joey rescued near land-clearing site

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Carmel, the tiny ringtail joey rescued by WIRES from a land-clearing site at Goonengerry. Photo WIRES

A tiny ringtail possum joey has been rescued in the vicinity of a newly cleared patch of land on Repentance Creek Road, Goonengerry.

WIRES Northern Rivers spokesperson Renata Phelps, who is looking after the young orphan, said, ‘ringtail possums usually have two joeys. We can only speculate as to the fate of mum and sibling and the multitude of other native animals that would have been injured or killed whilst the machinery did its job of clearing this highly sensitive area of land’.

Renata said Caramel and another little orphaned ringtail possum, Snickers, will grow up together and be released back to the wild once old enough to make it on their own.

‘Thank you to the kind member of public for stopping and saving the life of this little orphan. Our hearts go out to all the others that are not found each and every time land is cleared,’ she said.

‘Sadly we’ve cleared nearly half of Australia’s native forests and vegetation in the last 200 years, leading to the direct loss of millions of native animals and plants every year.

‘When chain saws and bull dozers move into areas of bush, the destruction of trees and other plants is very obvious. Harm to our wildlife, however, is largely invisible. Very few native animals are found after land clearing. Those that do manage to survive, even if they are uninjured from falling trees and machinery, are faced with a struggle to find food and shelter. ‘They are more vulnerable to predators and disease, which means that they can suffer days or months of pain and distress after their homes are lost,’ Renata said.

An all-volunteer organisation, WIRES relies heavily on the generosity of caring people for support. All donations $2 and over are tax deductible.

Now is also a great time to join WIRES and start learning to be a wildlife rescuer.

Call the 24-hour hotline on 6628 1898 for all rescue, advice or membership calls in the Northern Rivers or go to WIRES’ website to find out how you can help.

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