SLEEPING: Shannon the echidna puggle who was in the care of volunteer Robyn Gray. (right) A Tawny Frogmouth chick.
SLEEPING: Shannon the echidna puggle who was in the care of volunteer Robyn Gray. (right) A Tawny Frogmouth chick. Robyn Gray

Creatures cute and small need your help

ROBYN Gray admits she's been a bit of a helicopter mum recently, constantly checking on her little one, Shannon, to make sure he is nice and cosy each night.

Can you blame her? One look at the little guy and you'd be hooked, too.

Shannon, of course, is a puggle, who came into the WIRES volunteer's care at six weeks old and 220g after his mother was run over by a car.

"Shannon was my first puggle and I admit to being a helicopter mum for a while as echidna youngsters need to be kept cool at around 25 degrees,” Ms Gray said.

"I was constantly checking the temperature during the summer as it was soaring, but he coped well and had no trouble eating or sleeping.”

Last month he was transferred to another carer with a larger facility so he can learn to scratch around and find his own food before being released onto an appropriate property with lots of fallen logs to explore and termites to eat.

The WIRES Clarence Valley branch is urgently calling for more volunteers like Robyn to help rescue and rehabilitate the area's injured and orphaned native animals as the drought continues to impact local wildlife.

The group is holding an accredited Rescue and Immediate Care Course (RICC) on Sunday, March 24, in Brushgrove where local residents can learn the basics of native animal care from qualified wildlife trainers.

Ms Gray said their branch was called on to rescue and rehabilitate a wide range of native animals from echidnas to koalas.

"We are so lucky to have all these wonderful creatures living on our doorstep, and it is a privilege to be able to help ensure their survival for future generations to enjoy,” she said.

"It is particularly tough during drought times like we are experiencing now as we have so many orphans come into care.”

Robyn is also monitoring the soft release of a batch of tawny frogmouth chicks that she took in as 'little fluff balls' when they were unable to be reunited with their parents.

For more information about WIRES and how you can you help, visit www.wires.org.au.



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