‘Scared, wet and exhausted’ native animals filmed desperately fleeing floodwaters

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‘Scared, wet and exhausted’ native animals were filmed desperately fleeing floodwaters as flood crisis continues in Victoriaprompting a call from rescue groups.

Shepparton resident Justin Hunter felt helpless when he saw an echidna desperately trying to find higher ground as waters rose around the township yesterday.

Hunter told 9news.com.au he saw something moving in a body of water and muddy debris before realizing it was a native animal.

The echidna was seen struggling in floodwaters in Shepparton. At one point he tried to find a buy on a plastic water bottle. (Provided: Justin Hunter)
“It was the nose that stuck up so I know it was an echidna,” he said.

“My partner and I tried to find a way to save him, but it was too dangerous.

“He was swept away by the current under the carriageway, so we crossed the road to make sure he came out the other side. He got out and that’s when I recorded.

“We stood there watching until we felt he could reach a tree or some branches. He appeared to grab a tree and climb some branches before we had to leave the area.”

Zooming out, Hunter demonstrated just how well camouflaged the struggling animal was.  This comes as motorists are urged to be extra careful on the roads.
Zooming out, Hunter demonstrated just how well camouflaged the struggling animal was. This comes as motorists are urged to be extra careful on the roads. (Justin Hunter)

Hunter said his family was on the “high side” of town, about a mile from the floods.

But he always does his part for his community.

“I’m heading to the fairgrounds to sandbag,” he said.

“The Rapid Response Team, ADF and locals are doing an amazing job.”

The echidna incident comes after a mud-covered kangaroo was rescued from Kiolla Lakes in a flooded area.

Bohollow Wildlife Shelter answered the call and rescued the marsupial.

They urge motorists to be extra careful on the roads.

“Our wildlife is being driven out by the rising waters of rivers and streams and the roos in particular have nowhere to go except on roads and in towns,” he wrote on Facebook.

“They are scared, wet and exhausted.

“Please be mindful of their fate.

“We are doing all we can to help, but slowing down, being aware and understanding that our wildlife are struggling in these conditions makes a huge difference to them.”

Kangaroo covered in mud found near Kialla Lakes in a flood zone.
Kangaroo covered in mud found near Kialla Lakes in a flood zone. (Bohollow Wildlife Shelter Inc.)

Wildlife Victoria said they have been busy since the wet weather started in the middle of last week.

They echoed the message to motorists and shared a video of a wombat trying to escape floodwaters along a road in Ghin Ghin.

The wombat was picked up around 2 p.m. yesterday by a volunteer.

A wombat was captured swimming in floodwaters in Echuca.
A wombat was captured swimming in flood waters in Ghin Ghin. (Wildlife Victoria)

“He was a little feisty and we had to deal with a few brown snakes in the area who were also trying to get away from the flooding,” Wildlife Victoria said.

“We transported him to our nearby shelter in Yea and put him in a pen with hay so he could rest.

“He’s stable at the moment and we don’t think anything is broken, but we’ll know more once we can get out of the flooding and get to the vet.”

Wildlife Victoria has urged anyone who encounters wildlife in distress to call them rather than intervene themselves.

Wildlife Victoria shared a photo of a soggy pair of ringtail possums rescued from the weather event.
Wildlife Victoria shared a photo of a soggy pair of ringtail possums rescued from the weather event. (Wildlife Victoria)

“In conditions like these it can be extremely dangerous,” he said.

“At this time of year, most of our wildlife is with young, including chicks in nests and kangaroos and wombat joeys on foot and in pouches.

“This makes our wildlife particularly vulnerable during extreme weather events.

“We have a trained emergency response team who are available 24/7 and will be able to make an assessment over the phone and provide the most appropriate course of action.”

The most affected species are kangaroos and possums, birds driven from nests and found waterlogged, leading to potential conditions such as hyperthermia.

“We have received several calls from public crowds reporting eastern gray kangaroos trapped by rising water and numerous orphaned possums that have been found wet and alone on the ground,” he said.

“We also have reports of wombats being moved where their burrows are flooded and echidnas being moved.”

There are currently over 60 flood warnings in effect across Victoria, stretching from just north of Melbourne to the NSW border.

At the time, a WIRES spokesperson told 9news.com.au that burrowing animals such as wombats, echidnas and snakes are most at risk as rain floods their burrows.

With no end in sight to the wet weather, the spokesperson said it was impossible to estimate the true number of dead and displaced animals.

Australia is grappling with a third consecutive La Niña event, which is not expected to subside until early next year.

Flood-affected areas brace for more rain as a low-pressure system builds inland.
Flood-affected areas brace for more rain as a low-pressure system builds inland before spreading across eastern states midweek. (weather zone)
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has urged swimmers to report any sea turtle tracks and nests, in hopes it could help save hatchlings as the wet weather continues.

“With another La Nina summer predicted, sea turtle nests will be in the crosshairs of increased storm activity,” said Holly West of NSW TurtleWatch.

“Turtle nesting tracks disappear from the beach very quickly, so the sooner we know of tracks or the location of a potential nest, the better.

“This allows us to monitor the nest early on and take action to save the eggs if the nest is at risk of being flooded by high tides or impacted by other threats, such as predators, erosion or pollution. bright.”

Beachgoers are urged to keep an eye out and report any signs of turtles as they may lead to nests requiring relocation.
Beachgoers are urged to keep an eye out and report any signs of turtles as they may lead to nests requiring relocation. (NPWS/TurtleWatch)

In 2021-2022, 11 sea turtle nesting activities were recorded on NSW beaches.

“From the nests we managed to relocate last year, 376 baby turtles hatched and made their way to the ocean,” she added.

“That’s nearly 400 baby turtles rescued by members of the public who called us.”

Kangaroo covered in mud found near Kialla Lakes in a flood zone.

Kangaroo ‘covered in mud’ found in flooded area

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