Why is Queanbeyan Wildcare giving the odd green tree frog a permanent home?
They don’t come from this part of NSW, albeit they exist in all States except for Victoria and Tasmania. Often those that come into Wildcare have travelled from over the border, or from Sydney, in a supermarket fruit box, such as a bunch of bananas.
They are delightful creatures and are much larger than most other Australian frogs, sometimes growing to over 10cm in length.
With the permission of the Office of Heritage and Environment, Wildcare is able to give a permanent home to frogs and some reptiles. They cannot be returned and released, as it is impossible to know exactly where they came from.
Frogs, like a number of species, are in decline due to the destruction of their habitat, through wetland clearance and the widespread use of chemicals. Green tree frogs eat various types of insects and they love crickets and moths.
Years ago, a large python travelled all the way from Queensland in a pipe on the back of a Telstra truck. Some readers may remember seeing ‘Samantha’ at the Wildcare displays. Sadly, she has passed away. Again, this one had to become a permanent care animal (or be euthanised), as it could not be returned to where it slithered on-board.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service occasionally asks Wildcare to care for an escaped reptile pet, while the owner is located or the animal is sold.
It is against the Law to take native animals from the wild, but the NSW government can issue a Reptile Keeper Licence for keeping a native reptile as a pet, which has to be bought from a licensed dealer or breeder.
Last year another escaped pet python came into care and as the owner could not be located. One of Wildcare’s reptile enthusiasts was eventually given permission to give it a permanent home.
One of the more interesting snake rescues that happened was a snake callout to a Queanbeyan apartment. The tenant had opened the airing cupboard only to discover a pet carpet python keeping warm at the back of the hot water tank. Somehow it had escaped from the flat upstairs. One of Wildcare’s trained snake handlers retrieved it and returned it to its owner.
Wildcare is a charity and depends on the good will of its volunteers and the community through fundraising. A spokesperson said last year has been particularly difficult in making ends meet. A major cost driver was the more than $20k to pay for Vet fees over the year, so far. Normally the bill is much less.
A similar amount is needed to subsidise the cost of equipment and food.
- To make a donation visit wildcare.com.au or pay into BSB 062-593, Account 10216803 and let the firstname.lastname@example.org know to get a receipt. Wildcare can be contacted on 6299 1966.