Betty Balch of Granite Belt Wildlife Carers with the baby bearded dragon eggs before they hatched.
Betty Balch of Granite Belt Wildlife Carers with the baby bearded dragon eggs before they hatched.

Wild animal rescues on rise across the Southern Downs

CARERS across the Southern Downs have seen a rise in the number of wild animal rescues in the last year.

Nearly 45,000 animals came into the care of the RSPCA in Queensland during the last financial year, the organisation says.

The charity has also seen an increase of animal rescue calls, with 28,875 urgent requests for help - an increase of 26% on two years ago.

Figures to be released in the RSPCA's 2014-15 annual report show the live release rate has risen from 83 to 87 per cent, and that 14,589 pets have been returned to their owners.

There were 15,589 wild animals cared for.

Granite Belt Wildlife Carers president Betty Balch said there had been some unusual rescues in the lead-up to Christmas.

"Our carers are a really hardworking group of people across the region that look after injured and at risk animals," she said.

"One of our carers in Warwick had an unexpected delivery of some bearded dragons just after Christmas."

In late November a Warwick carer brought in a bearded dragon to be treated.

The lizard had been tangled up in a cactus bed and suffered from a number of spike injuries.

Over a few days the cactus spikes were removed and the dragon was put on antibiotics.

After 10 days of treatment and extra feeding it was time to let the animal back into the wild.

In an unexpected twist the dragon laid a batch of eggs and was returned to the Warwick carer and 16 eggs hatched on December 27.

Mrs Balch said all but two had been released to wild.

"We released them into the wild during the week," she said.

"Our carers decided to keep two of the babies and is raising them at home herself."

If you see an injured animal, phone Granite Belt Wildlife Carers on 0418 144073.



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