Lookout for turtles says wildlife rescue group

By Paula Doran

Broken Hill’s wildlife rescue group – Rescue and Rehabilitation of Australian Native Animal (RRANA) – has been hit hard by illness amongst its volunteers and is asking the community for understanding.

President Lindy Hunt said it had been a challenging week for the organisation, with volunteers hit with both Covid and the flu.

“As you know we are a small team, and with so many members out sick we are asking for help from the community. If anyone finds any sick or injured small animals such as birds and reptiles, please call us and we are happy to arrange contact free pick up, or drop off to our carers,” Ms Hunt said.

“Where safe to pick up they can also be dropped straight to the RSPCA or Tabby’s and they will notify us once the animal has been vet checked.

“Any larger animal emergency rescues such as kangaroos or emus please ring us asap and we can attend contact free.

“Our goal is to maintain our presence and care for the wildlife that needs us, but we want to keep the community safe also.”

Ms Hunt said it’s been a busy time for the volunteers, who had seen large numbers of turtles in need of help. “It’s the busiest I can recall for turtles. It is turtle breeding season so we normally see larger numbers at this time of the year, but this year we’ve seen more than ever.

“You would think that coming off the back of a drought, that numbers might have dwindled, but that’s certainly not the case. I’d ask drivers to be careful, because we are seeing many of the turtles being injured,” she said.

“Turtles leave the water to find a place to nest. And they normally travel at night. They can pop up at the craziest places, and sometimes it’s difficult for drivers to see them.

“If you do find an injured turtle please notify us promptly. You can remove turtles from the road and take to the other side after looking for injuries on highways but if it’s in town call us to help with safe relocation away from traffic.

Ms Hunt said it was also a busy time with the warmer weather for reptiles. “We’ve had quite a few bearded dragons and shingle backs (Sleepy Lizards) brought in. The shingle backs are monogamous, so when they go looking for their mate, it can put them at risk of being mauled by dogs.

“Getting them back into good health can be a lengthy process, so I’d ask people to hand them in quickly to give them a good chance of survival and recovery.”
RRANA can be contacted 24-7 on 0429 204 416.



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