With growing numbers of wildlife showing up on our streets, the Wildlife Rescue Whyalla and Surrounding Areas Incorporated are becoming crucial to assuring animals are taken in and properly cared for.
The group was recently licenced with the government, giving them a bigger sphere of influence and allowing police to directly contact them for assistance.
It’s run by Cassandra Williams, Andrew Hallett and Shannon Mercer, who have over 50 years of experience in dealing with animals.
Focusing on the rescue, rehabilitation and release of wildlife and the eradication of feral animals, the team take wildlife into their home to care for them before releasing them when the time comes.
They also actively seek out the parent of the animal if they are missing from a family.
Currently the group have two baby emus and a wombat in their care, and they’re seeking out the mother/father of the emus.
Secretary Cassandra Williams said there was a growing need to educate the community on how to properly deal with wild animals.
“With the adult emus that have been in town, we’ve had an issue with people feeding them and giving them water,” she said.
“The problem with that a wild animal will come back for more later.
“They think they’re doing the right thing because the animals seem to be hungry or thirsty.
But by physically taking food and drink out to them you are getting them used to you which becomes a danger to you, the animal, and the rest of the community.”
Ms Williams says the best way to deal with a wild animal found in town is to contact the Wildlife Rescue group on 0458 686 987, 0410 236 519 or 0447 741 819.
The team has taken in a variety of animals found in distress around Whyalla, including an echidna, kangaroos, baby goats, magpies, and sheep.
“We’ve found magpies injured and dehydrated, we’ve had to go rescue a Heron which was found on the road,” Ms Williams said.
“Someone brought it in and we kept it overnight and rehabilitated it.
“To treat the animals we use the Whyalla Veterinary Clinic.
“One of our members is a vet nurse over there, so veterinary care is one of our top priorities for animals.
“If we get a call from a member of the public saying they have found an animal with some wrong with it, then we go out with a cage, pick it up and take it straight to the vets.
“If we can’t house the animal ourselves we do have contact with other carers in Whyalla and surrounds that do have the facilities to care for them.”
The group are also looking for support from other organisations to help with getting the equipment and materials needed to successfully remove, rescue, house and care for wildlife.