The end of spring has heard a rise in calls to the Riverina’s wildlife rescue organisation, WIRES.
“Definitely in the last six weeks we’ve been getting a lot more calls from the public about animals in distress,” said WIRES representative Glenda Pym.
Majority of the organisation’s time is spent in rescuing orphaned wildlife who have been found vulnerable at the side of the road.
They have received calls in regards to echidnas, kangaroos, wombats, snakes and most other native fauna existing in the Riverina.
But in Junee and surrounds, the biggest crisis has hit the possum populations.
“It’s because of the drought,” said Ms Pym.
“The animals are moving around more in search of food and water. When mum has to cross the road to get food for her babies, she can come into conflict with cars, leaving her babies helpless.
“More often than not the baby will survive because it’s protected in the pouch. Even when it’s thrown from the car’s impact, they tend to survive.”
Ms Pym and the WIRES workers have been called to rescue one possum baby per fortnight since the weather began heating up.
Generally, as the weather warms up possums are on the move resulting in more calls, but this year has been one of the busiest on record.
The sudden influx has led the organisation to enlist the help of inmates inside Junee’s jail.
Two weeks ago, Junee’s Ellen Kemp took delivery of their 20 handmade wooden boxes.
One for each possum in the rescue aviary to call home over the next five years, before they are ready to be fully re-introduced into the wild.
This is the second time the jail has supplied WIRES with wildlife boxes.
“The craftsmanship of these boxes, they’re beautifully made. Any possum will be happy to live in one of these, and you can tell they will last a long, long time.
“What we really need though is the rain to promote enough grass growth that the animals won’t need to travel for food,” said Ms Pym.