Young Wildcare volunteer Lynda Oehm has been volunteering on and off for the last 30 years for Wildcare, and knows a thing or two about looking after kangaroos. In fact, she has looked after around 300 injured kangaroos and kangaroo joeys in that time, but with very few volunteers in the Central West caring for Wildcare at the moment, she said she is inundated with animals.
Close to Forbes, there are currently volunteers based in Goologong, but none in Forbes itself. Wildcare is an independent organisation that looks after injured wildlife, with carers that volunteer for them being specially trained to look after different types of animals. Wildcare is a 24/7 service, and generally,
takes injured wildlife into its care when members of the public, local rangers and local emergency services report the injured animals.
Animals’ injuries are assessed in the first instance, with veterinary attention brought in if required, and then volunteer carers look after the animals and maintain their health until they are assessed to be ready for the wild again. On average, the service receives around 2000 calls a year. Common circumstances
include dog and cat attacks on wildlife, motor vehicle collisions, and animals getting caught in netting or fencing.
More miscellaneous situations involve wombats getting stuck in bathtubs, brown snakes in rat traps, and possums in car bonnets. Ms Oehm specialises in looking after injured kangaroos and wallabies, and after years of constantly having new animals come to her, said it was important other people come on board.
“Looking after these kangaroos isn’t like having a pet. They’re not pets. It’s like raising a child. They need full time care,” she said. “We desperately need more volunteer carers, especially for birds, possums and reptiles. It’s becoming too much for the four of us that do it at the moment.” Wildcare liaison officer for Young, Sandra Latham, said licensed shooters (euthanasia) were also being sought.
Anyone interested in assisting Wildcare is asked to call 6299 1966.