Letters this week are about wildlife and dogs – discussing the regulation of dogs in koala habitat areas, the things that dogs do and people don’t pick up and caring for orphaned wildlife.
Dogs and koalas
I read with interest that Council has now highlighted certain areas in Redlands as koala habitat and included conditions for dog ownership. It’s disappointing that this Council is trying to take credit for conditions that in some cases were initiated back in 1993.
My disappointment is that Division 6 Councillor has not tried to include Ridgewood Downs, an estate in the middle of the Koala Coast and designed to protect environmental values. This estate has a court order related to dog and cat ownership.
Division 6 is covered by the Koala State Planning Policy and yet very little of this area is highlighted in the list. Also the Era development on Redland Bay Road, Capalaba has a court order regarding dog and cat ownership. That area is not listed either.
Cr Gleeson also shows a lack of knowledge in his own Division. Metres from his home is land acquired by the State and Council in 1995 at the cost of $2m. The Reserve is an estate that was designed to retain environmental values after research by the State and Council 13 koalas were found. The area has been used by a number of agencies for ongoing evaluation.
Koalas moved from our dam areas through Degen Road into the bushland area along Ney Road and around Indigiscapes. I can’t believe properties between Degen Road and Stanley Street were not included. Coolnwynpin School was also part of that corridor. Where has Cr Gleeson been for the past 4 years?
A number of years ago the RSPCA did research and found that dogs kept in at night were still good watchdogs, and dogs roaming around properties in koalas areas were a real threat to our wildlife.
Toni Bowler, Sheldon
I would like to address an issue of distaste in polite company, and that is the issue of ‘doggy do’.
I am sickened at the sight of people who don’t or won’t clean up after their dogs. I always bring extra bags to pick up the rot left by other people’s canine companions.
I am sure the council would make a fortune if they could track and fine the rascals who leave their doggy deeds undone.
We are so privileged to have beautiful dog parks in this area. I am dreading when they build that new Toondah Harbour – with the present dog park halved in size – that there will be dog deeds all over our streets. It will be like Europe where you play ‘doggie do dodgems’ on the streets and pavements.
D. Berg, Ormiston
If only people knew how much pleasure I derived from caring for wildlife orphaned babies such as little ringtail possums, gliders and other littlies, they would understand why I am pushing for more people to become wildlife carers.
I had to give up wildlife caring because my husband, who was my support, became ill and was not strong enough to help me and I had to look after him and make him my first priority.
Each little creature has its own personality and I loved each and every little baby from the minute I picked them up.
Of course, all were not all able to be saved and sadly would have to be taken to the vet to be put to sleep. Many of these were the babies of mum ringtails that had been attacked by cats or dogs and the babies were injured in the attack.
Naturally I didn’t take up wildlife caring knowing what to do but I had help from various people and when I got my first two little ringtail babies I was totally in love. Gobbledock and Chippie weren’t really tiny but to me they were. They were furred and healthy so I was very lucky to start with a pair of reddish ringtails that I thought were just perfect.
The mentor who gave them to me told me what to feed them, how to feed them and how to look after them i.e. the pouches and pillow beds to keep them warm.
My babies thrived until the time came for them to go up to the back aviary we had built and I had to withdraw from them so they could be returned to the bush (there was more bush in those days).
Gobbledock was very brave and loved to run along the branches, and it was like he was saying ‘look at me Mum, aren’t I brave? Whoops, nearly fell!’ and he would come back for a cuddle to make sure I was still there and off he would go again.
Little Chippie, the female, was very timid and she just cuddled into my neck and watched her brother scooting along the branches, having a nibble of the lovely eucalyptus leaves in the aviary and a sniff of the flowers placed here and there. Soon she decided he was having so much fun that she had to try. Just a little step, then another one, a taste of a leaf and then she would run back for another cuddle. She became braver and then gradually I had to withdraw from the aviary. Their box was in there with their pouches and as they were still having their milk, their little bowls of divet were on the benches.
I closed the aviary door and sadly went back to the house.
Rod made little dreys for them out of fibre hanging baskets and when they were more settled and were sleeping in the dreys we had kind people on acreages who would allow us to hang the dreys in their acreage areas and keep an eye on them until they settled in and probably disappeared.
Ringtails make their own dreys out of twigs and branches and some of them did that even before they were released but mine were spoilt I must admit.
Wildlife carers are desperately needed, not only for possums, but wallabies as we saw in the local paper just recently that many orphaned wallabies are coming in as their mothers are being killed on the roads. There are carers needed for bats but there are separate groups for them.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a wildlife carer please see the wildlife officers at Indigiscapes. You can get any information you need from them.
Koalas need specialty carers and that takes a lot of training so if you wanted to aim for that, you would have to speak to the wildlife officers at Indigiscapes as well.
Jan Smith, Wellington Point
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