Double trouble for wildlife on barbed wire
This week WIRES was called to rescue a Barn Owl caught on barbed wire at McLeans Ridges. Barb wire rescues can be tricky, so two WIRES volunteers went to the rescue together.
When they arrived they needed to drive through a couple of paddocks to reach the location where the entangled Barn Owl was. As they passed a small dam they noticed a Black Flying Fox also caught on a barbed wire fence over the water.
The Barn Owl had one wing caught. It had struggled to free itself causing severe injuries to its wing.
The flying fox was caught over water so proved to be a much more difficult rescue. The farmer who had called WIRES was able to provide the rescuers with two kayaks. The flying fox was caught on 3 strands of barbed wire and the injuries indicated it had been there for a couple of days. This rescue required balance and precision but, after great effort, the two WIRES volunteers were able to free the bat.
Barbed wire causes horrendous injuries to many creatures especially Barn Owls, Tawny Frogmouths, Flying Foxes and Gliders. Sadly, the injuries to both the Barn Owl and the Flying Fox were severe and they did not recover. Although not a happy ending, wildlife rescuers are always so grateful to be able to save animals from suffering on barbed wire fences.
WIRES asks that people consider the effect that their fencing has on wildlife, particularly near waterways and fruiting and flowering trees. It is best to remove fences wherever they are not needed, but some other simple steps, such as making the top two strands more visible with a light coloured tape can also save lives. Please monitor your fences and if you do find an animal that is caught call WIRES Northern Rivers on 6628 1898. Excellent information on how to ensure your fencing is wildlife friendly can be found at http://wildlifefriendlyfencing.com/.
An all-volunteer organisation, WIRES relies heavily on the generosity of caring people for support. All donations $2 and over are tax deductible. Now is also a great time to join WIRES and start learning to be a wildlife rescuer. Our 24-hour hotline is for all rescue, advice or membership calls in the Northern Rivers – call 6628 1898 or go to http://wiresnr.org/Helping.html to find out how you can help.