Day of the Echidna
What a day we have had on Fussell Street Hill today…
A knock at the door by a young child alerted me to an injured echidna in the middle of the road. When I got there the child’s mum was protecting the echidna, she suggested she drive for help while I stood in the middle of the road waving my arms to alert oncoming drivers to slow to a crawl as they went past the injured animal. Mind you I was jumping up and down and waving like a totally crazy person, scared those that speed along Fussell St wouldn’t stop in time… ekkkk
I was for an incredibly rare moment without my phone… so I was totally freaked out!
The echidna looked so dazed and so fragile and so vulnerable, staggering in the middle of the road, reaching repeatedly with its claw to its nose. Stumbling, reaching, unbalanced. It seemed to sense the vegetation close by and eventually, staggering, made it off the road, under the first bush, and immediately began to dig itself in.
The first protector returned, unfortunately she said ‘no help’. Some other wonderful woman drove past and mentioned BADGAR. Geez what was I thinking (read NOT), I knew people in BADGAR so well. I rang looking for their number. Hilariously the guy on the other end of the phone went something like this… “I can’t find anything for badger in Ballarat”, “No nothing for wildlife rescue”, “What is the name of the business?”, “You might be confusing it with ‘bad-gar’?” Obviously he had lost the power of intuition, connection and pronunciation…
Leanne from BADGAR arrived first and started digging. Then Sharon turned up and also began digging. I cut back branches, provided coffee, occasionally tools and jellybeans.
They kept at it. For three hours. Flat out. Scraping, chatting, laughing and sharing tips about echinda’s. They told me that if an echidna has a broken or damaged snout then it likely the end. The echidna was bleeding from its nose profusely when I saw it.
The injured and incredibly stubborn echidna was eventually dragged from its hiding hole. The girls checked it for injuries and sent it straight to care at Greendale Wildlife Shelter. Later I received a call telling me its snout was fine, it was injured but in good health and was likely to be released very soon.
I remain in awe of their passion, their commitment, their knowledge and their huge contribution to the protection of our wildlife. They tell me also that BADGAR needs old sheets, old towels, unscented tissues, animal hutches, rubbish bins (to transport injured dangerous wildlife, and so many other bits and pieces I have likely forgotten. I promised them our street Christmas party would collect these things, along with any donations we can do as well.
Check them out at http://www.wildlifeshelter.org.au/ and donate what you can. BADGAR Phone line number is 1300223427 a 24 hour number.
Residents of Ballarat East please send in you wildlife sightings and pictures. Its important to show how over-development in our urban-rural area is creating injuries to our wildlife and reducing their habitat so close to the city. So unique so fragile.