Introducing one of our most precious local resources, a dedicated wildlife carer, named Cheryl Dobbie. Cheryl lives with her husband and family in South Warrandyte, immediately adjacent to Park Orchards. She has been caring for these desperately fragile and vulnerable creatures for about 6 years, volunteering not just her time but also donating her family's hard earned money.
The animals in her care range across the spectrum of native animals, from wallabies, kangaroos and echidnas to parrots and tawney frogmouths. Surprisingly, these carers get virtually no assistance from Government agencies, yet the costs are formidable. The government even insists that they pay for their own registration. The basic foodstuffs such as seed, fruit and vegetables will cost a minimum of $100 per month.
Carnivorous birds such as owls can cost up to $20 per week per bird to feed. The milk formulas for orphaned joeys are specifically formulated and expensive. Recently Cheryl had to purchase a specially constructed cage at a personal cost of $1,800.
Though these financial burdens can be demanding, the biggest hurdle to overcome is the time required. Currently Cheryl's last feeding session is at 2:00 am. The first feed begins at 5:00 am. After the summer of 2008 09, Cheryl was inundated with animals, over one hundred creatures, mostly stricken with heat stress, and all requiring individual care.
Her most recent rescue case is a tiny baby koala, found in the pouch of his dead mother, killed by domestic dogs. The baby had been lying in the pouch for 2 days and was white with cold. Fortunately a passerby looked into the pouch and the baby was taken to Cheryl for care. It has only a 5% chance of survival, but with Cheryl's intensive care and the use of a borrowed $2,000 humidicrib, this infant koala has been given the best chance to survive.
If any of our local residents would care to help Cheryl, please contact Gerry Dale on 0417 538 306. Volunteer helpers would be welcome but need to be over 16 years old. Any donations would also be welcome to help relieve the financial burden of housing and feeding which is placed upon the wildlife carers in our area.
Their CB number is 90601.