Tag Archives: Wires

Look in the Mirror!


Recently, my Jordanian friend Basel, wrote to me thus –

When I was a child I was one time somewhere in a zoo, and there was a huge sign written Here you see the most dangerous animal on earth.  All visitors watched in a mirror and saw themselves. And you see it worked, I still remember this! Animals are not calculating like humans, so they have a better character.  (Basel’s words).

Today I took my dog to the vet’s and I was chatting to everyone who was waiting with their pet.  A young man came into the clinic with his one year old Laborador/Staffie cross. The dog was a friendly dog despite the fact one of its back legs was in a plaster cast. The man told me that his home was burgled recently and when the dog barked at the intruders, they set upon it with a hammer, smashing its back leg and its teeth.  The police weren’t particularly interested in the case and didn’t take any DNA samples.  I suspect that this event is all too common or why would burglers be carrying hammers?

It certainly takes a ‘special’ sort of person who could set upon a living creature with a hammer.

Max with plaster cast (not the dog at the vet's)

Well, the newspapers are full of such stories, and if you follow my blogs you’ll read quite a few similar stories.  Just read my last blog on private and public zoos to see how disinterested some people are in animal rights.

Elle MacPherson’s recent admission that she relies on rhino horn makes you wonder what she sees in her mirror.  Rhinos are critically endangered because of people like Elle, who basically put a contract on a rhino’s life by demanding its horn. Apparently Elle thinks that her beauty, as skin deep as it so obviously is, is so important to the world that it is worth the  lives of any number of endangered animals. Elle is the genius who is quoted as saying that she wouldn’t have any books in her home unless she’d written them.  Well, hello Elle, did you know that the trade in rhino horn is illegal?

However, as with yin and yang ie good/bad; light/dark; night/day – there are also many people who are concerned about the lives and welfare of animals.

IN a real-life fairytale, an American millionaire has bequeathed $8 million to the Mannum-based Wombat Awareness Organisation.

The millionaire, whose family has requested anonymity, unexpectedly visited the team of volunteers about two years ago to see the southern hairy-nosed wombats in the wild.

“I took him out into the wild population and showed him wombats with mange, wombats that were starving to death and wombats with burrows from motorbike tyres,” the director said.

The millionaire, who worked in the horse-racing industry, was captivated by the volunteers’ tireless efforts to save what may be becoming an endangered icon.

The Director, Brigitte Stevens,  who currently works to help pay bills, including last year’s $70,000 vet fees – wants to buy two properties in the Murraylands and run a 24-hour free vet advice phone clinic.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/us-millionaire-leaves-estate-to-wombat-awareness-organisation/story-e6frfm1i-1225927067804#ixzz10xO6totL

Pity the poor wombat.  They are the farmer’s enemy because they dig burrows on their farms.  In NSW farmers can apply for permits to shoot wombats that burrow under fences. In parts of Victoria, wombats are treated as vermin and no permit is required to shoot them. Is there any native animal that pleases a farmer – I ask you? I doubt it. Kangaroos, wombats, sulphur crested cockatoos, flying foxes, dingoes and the rest are all animal non grata for farmers. They poison them, shoot them and trap them. 

A biologist, Erin Roger, is also working to draw attention to the plight of wombats – this time in protected reserves.

According to the Sun-Herald, 18th July, 2010 , at least 3,000 wombats are killed each year on 800 kilometres of NSW highway that fall within the wombat’s reserved optimal habitat.

Each year, over 13.6% of the common wombat population living in the optimal habitat of NSW’s protected reserves, are run over by cars and trucks.

You’d think that the wombats would be safe in specially designated wombat reserves, wouldn’t you?  Well, just as they do with koala colonies,  the government cheerfully builds highways right through wombat habitats. 

I have already discussed this matter in my post roslynmotter.com/2010/03/11/pity-about-the-australiankoala

It is heartbreaking to see so many native animals – wombats, possums, parrots, kangaroos and koalas – squashed on the roads every morning. There is no device in place to stop kangaroos jumping over the highway on the outskirts of Canberra for starters. It also breaks my heart to see the dozens of dead sulphur crested cockatoos on the M7 Motorway every morning. This is because the motorway was built right through their habitat.

Working to save the microbat, is Dr Brad Law from the science and research division of industry and investment of NSW. NSW is home to an unknown number of microbat species. Microbats play an important part in the ecosystem due to the large numbers of insects they consume – up to 1.5 times their own body weight in one night. Their numbers are falling as urban development encroaches on their habitat.  (Sun-Herald 27th June, 2010)

Female Phasmid (photo by SJ Fellenberg)

An entomologist who is doing marvellous work saving the Lord Howe Island phasmid (stick insect), is Dr. Stephen Fellenberg.  However, due to the escape of rats from a sinking ship, many species native to the island have been wiped out.

One of those species, a rare stick insect (Phasmid), was originally thought to be extinct. When a few survivors were found on the island, Dr Fellenberg agreed to breed them so that the island population could be restocked.

His wife, Lynn Bowden, is also doing marvellous work helping Australian native animals – this time the koala. She has been working with a group of scientists, volunteers and the local community in the south west Sydney region to study a small population of koalas.

She told me that there is an organisation called Koala Retreat which is  dedicated to establishing a tree planting program to supply good quality of leaves to koalas in zoos and wildlife parks and to extending the natural corridors for koalas in the wild.

So what can you do? I support organisations such as Wires, which protects Australian wildlife.

You could also start your own animal sanctuary http://www.startananimalsanctuary.com/54/working-with-animals-do-what-you-love/

The government has some ideas http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/kids.html However I find any suggestions that they make as laughable considering they give farmers carte blanche to shoot anything that bugs them/ and also are actively building highways through their habitats.  Developers give donations to major political parties which don’t go unrewarded and some politicians have close personal links with developers who steal habitat from native animals.

However, look in the mirror and see what you can do to help Australian wildlife.

To see some great animal shots (some tragic) go to https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inbox/12b5bca5be92f014





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Not In My Backyard!

Possum from australian-wildlife.com/Possum-information.html

Oh we do so love cuddly, furry animals. Cute, pink noses and adorable little faces – you just want to grab them and cuddle them!

But when they’re jumping on your roof in the night and eating the oranges and figs off your very own trees – well that’s not cute at all! In fact that’s a statement of war!

Possums and fruit bats spring to mind.

The Royal Botanical Gardens have decided to wage war against fruit bats. Colonies of thousands of bats have been living in the Botanical Gardens in the middle of the Sydney CBD for years. Apparently they have destroyed trees and they have to go. So the method to be used in this war against the bats is noise. Every day in the gardens, a siren will be blasted. The noise is so annoying to bats that they will have no choice but to relocate.

But where to?

If anyone thinks that they’ll be welcomed in the suburbs then they have another thing coming. We don’t want possums so we definitely won’t want fruit bats.

Sydney is undergoing an “epidemic” of possum-dumping. Those cute little roof-hopping animals are being illegally trapped and dumped far away from home. I don’t suppose the trappers care too much about the future prospects for the possums, but once a native animal is taken to new territory its chances of survival are slim at best. Animals are territorial and will attack any interloper.

Put yourself in their paws. Imagine being taken far from home and dumped in the middle of nowhere without means of support.  You can certainly expect a hostile reaction from the natives.

Wires staff has been called to rescue 1030 ringtail and 843 brush tail possums this year in NSW. But once they rescue them, what next? Unless they know where they originally came from they can’t return them to their original habitat.

Soon we’ll be having the same problem with the fruit bats that have been driven from the Botanical Gardens.

But why are we finding fruit bats and possums to be so problematic? It’s all because their own native environments have been denuded to make way for ever more houses.

On Friday 9 April Sylvia Hale of the Greens Political Party spoke at a packed meeting at Crescent Head about the State Government’s plans to develop housing on high value conservation land on the Goolawah Estate at Crescent Head.

Locals are angry that development would destroy an endangered ecological community, which is home to many native animals including koalas, glossy black cockatoos and quolls. All  governments (Labor or Liberal) care not a fig for keeping vast tracts of land development free – they look at them with dollar signs in their eyes. There is a lot of money to be made in development fees!

Meanwhile, in the suburbs, as we have moved further and further from nature we all seem to view nature as an enemy to our comfort.  Living in our little castles we are increasingly annoyed by anything and everything natural.

We call the pest control service to nuke mice, birds, mosquitoes, cockroaches, ants, wasps at the drop of a hat. It would be impossible to live through an ant invasion.  No one bothers with natural preventative measures. Toxic chemicals are sprayed all over the house and then everyone is surprised at the huge incidence of chemical sensitivity and allergic reactions amongst children and adults. Not to mention how the chemicals poison our pets and the soil in our gardens.

My view is that we have more to fear from the toxic chemicals than we do from a cockroach. I bet more people have died from chemicals than have died from cockroaches. Admittedly ugly to our sensitivities, I suspect that cockroaches find us vile too.

I constantly hear about how people have waged war against their neighbour’s trees. Someone once told me that one Saturday they went to the pictures and returned to find that a tree in their garden had vanished. Not a leaf or even a stump remained. Either it had been transported by aliens to their space ship, or the neighbour had taken possession during their absence. My mother also has been under pressure from a neighbour who took delight in pouring oil and poison into the roots of her trees. These are not isolated incidents. Councils would be hearing similar stories every day of the week.

Money Tree - now would that be chopped down?

Noise pollution laws protect us from the most horrible of noises – the sound of a crowing rooster. Not so long ago (well at least in my lifetime) everyone’s grandparents had hens in the backyard. I used to think how lovely it was to wake up to the sound of a rooster crowing. Now, anyone living in the suburbs with a rooster on their premises will be fined a considerable amount of money – last I heard it was $10,000.

So why do we hate nature so much? Why have people so warmly embraced the Mac Mansion Houses that take up every centlimetre of land, leaving absolutely no room for a tree or even a shrub? What has nature done to us that makes us so resentful?

Personally I blame King Charlemagne. In 772  he chopped down Irminsul, the sacred tree of the pagans in England. Ever since that day we have been leaving the land and moving to the city. We have all lost our bond with nature. We don’t understand the traditional way of life of Aborigines, Native American Indians and native jungle dwellers. They all stand in the way of our greedy desire for their land. All have been persecuted and now all have huge numbers suffering from white people’s conditions – alcoholism, diabetes and a sense of hopelessness.

By and large we hate trees – they block our views and their roots block drains. Annoying wildlife lives in them. Possums, birds, squirrels, wasps and more all live in trees and they defecate on the clothes on our lines. They launch their nightly attacks on our rooves and they make noises.

The war we are waging on nature seems harmless enough to us today. The day will come when we will cry that we have no trees and we have no native animals. But when that day comes it will be too late.

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