Have you ever considered being a wildlife carer? We can tell you that it is a very fulfilling experience, but there is a lot of hard work as well!
Before becoming a wildlife carer, you must hold the necessary permit from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Carers who are members of FNQ Wildlife Rescue are covered by a blanket permit that allows for the keeping of wildlife for rehabilitation purposes.
It must be understood that wildlife cannot be kept as pets (some species excepted with the correct permits). As a carer, it is your responsibility to rehabilitate an animal until it is at the appropriate stage for release back into the wild. It is true to say that many carers do become attached to their charges, but you must always remember your purpose and think about what is good for the animal.
FNQ Wildlife Rescue conduct frequent courses and information sessions for new carers. Here you will learn about the different species and how to care for them effectively. They also have a strong support network with many experienced carers who are willing and able to offer advice and assistance for new starters. There is also some very good reference material available that will help you learn about the various species and their requirements.
Another factor to consider is that there are no Government subsidies for wildlife care! All costs are borne by the carers themselves. Many veterinarians kindly donate their time to assist with sick animals, however, you may be required to pay for any medication needed.
Smaller, younger wildlife orphans require special care and attention. This may include feeding and toileting every 2-4 hours, constant temperatures (i.e. heat pads) and quiet surroundings (i.e. not around noisy children or other domestic animals). All of these factors need to be seriously considered before you commit yourself.
Be prepared for failures. Despite doing everything right, there will be those animals that won't make it. It can be disheartening, but you need to put these experiences behind you. The successes make it all worthwhile!
FNQ Wildlife Rescue conducts regular workshops in Cairns for members on a variety of species. Many of these will be subject to demand from wildlife carers. Please be aware that workshops are only available to financial members of FNQ Wildlife Rescue. If you are a financial member of FNQ Wildlife Rescue and want to register, please visit our members only site to register.
If you would like to join FNQ Wildlife Rescue, you can do so by downloading a Membership Application Form from this site.