Fires leave tiny handful named Ash
MOUNT MORGAN possum man Raoul Harvey has christened her Ash.
She was found, singed, sore and close to death last week, a victim of the bushfires that raged around the Mount Morgan ranges earlier in the month.
And Raoul believes there could be hundreds like her on the outskirts of Rockhampton and Mount Morgan - possums, wallabies and other native animals, damaged by the worst bushfires the state has ever seen.
“Her whiskers and tail had been singed and her pads were raw. She's obviously been in a fire, but worse than that, she couldn't find anything to eat because all her habitat had been destroyed,” said Raoul, who is caring for the young orphan.
“We've seen a lot of dead animals in the bush and those that survived the flames and smoke will need help to get through the next month or so.”
He said his aim was to get Ash back on her feet and return her to the wild as quickly as possible.
“But to release her now would be a death sentence. There's just no food out there.”
Raoul, a wildlife carer who looks after a menagerie of native animals on his five-acre property outside Mount Morgan, said while the authorities usually discouraged people from feeding wild animals, these were extraordinary circumstances.
“I think for the next few weeks at least we have to have a different attitude.
“There are vast tracts of vegetation that are just a charred wasteland and it will be helpful to leave food out for the animals,” he said.
“There's a network of registered animal carers in the region and we are able to assist.”
Members of the public who find an injured native animal should call the DERM Hotline on 1300 130 372 and follow the prompts.