By Derek Schlennstedt
One of the region’s most well-known animal rescuers Carolyn Seeger is calling for more compassion for native animals.
Ms Seeger runs the Emerald Monbulk Wildlife Shelter and has been rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife for 30 years.
Caring for those animals is a full-time job and with spring – the busiest time for carers – just around the corner, Ms Seeger has made a plea for donations to cater to the increasing number of wildlife cases coming through her door.
“I probably have 50 or more birds, some possums, about 20-30 kangaroos, and not as many wombats as I usually have, but probably around 15,” she said.
Feeding all those animals is no easy feat, and Ms Seeger told the Mail that for about the first 15 months of their lives, joeys are entirely reliant upon their mothers, so orphans need a special blend of milk to keep them alive during those crucial months.
“Kangaroos will stay on milk powder until around 15 months,” she said.
“You’re feeding them for well over a year and a bag of Womberoos Is around $400 … that’s a 20kg bag and that lasts me just over two weeks.”
Ms Seeger said winter and spring were always the busiest times for carers as food is scarce.
“Kangaroos and wombats in particular are more vulnerable in being hit by cars as their range is getting smaller and smaller, and with winter they come to the side of the road because it’s nice and green along the verges.”
She said members of the public can play a vital role in keeping a watchful eye for animals, particularly at dawn and dusk, and by helping an animal that is injured.
“When there’s a cross on it that means someone has come along and checked the pouch. If it doesn’t have a cross its really important to check, because in this weather the young don’t survive long.”
“So, if people could please check … it only takes a minute.”
With little to no support from the government, Ms Seeger has to rely on donations and volunteers.
All of us have a duty of care to our native wildlife, and you can help feed these cute Australian critters by going to https://www.facebook.com/emeraldmonbulkwildlifeshelter/ and donating.