TRAPPED: Hunters can become the prey when inhumane vermin traps are used.
TRAPPED: Hunters can become the prey when inhumane vermin traps are used. Contributed

Learning to care for our natural pest controllers

WHEN setting traps for a rat there is always the danger more than a rat may be caught and for two pythons recently brought to WIRES, this was the case.

A member of the public was concerned about rats in his chook run and decided to set a number of traps one evening.

The next day they found a juvenile carpet python struggling to extricate itself from two traps. After releasing the snake they placed it in a bag and called WIRES for assistance.

WIRES rescuer Rowan went to the call and the snake was given a preliminary check which revealed that the spine was intact but that there was likely to be some internal organ damage as well as an external wound and severe pain.

Rowan took the snake home and administered some oral pain relief while waiting for another WIRES volunteer, Martin, to transport the snake to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital.

Fortunately, this snake was given the all-clear at Currumbin and is now back in the care of WIRES until it is ready to be released.

A second snake, which suffered the same fate, is still at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and WIRES is awaiting news of his/her condition.

WIRES warns that at spring-type rat traps are an inhumane way of controlling vermin. These traps are non-discriminatory, and various wildlife can be caught in them.

Rat poisons are also not recommended as they carry a risk of secondary death to predators such as raptors, kookaburras and reptiles that may eat the poisoned rats or mice.

"Snakes, and particularly pythons, are our greatest natural rat traps and will happily rid us of these rodents silently and free of charge,” A WIRES spokesperson said.

"We recommend learning to coexist with these beautiful animals, and to be grateful for the service they provide.

"If you do need to place traps for rats or mice, use live-traps (available at hardware stores and online).

"If you do find an animal that has been injured by a trap, please call WIRES immediately on 6628 1898.”

If you are keen to make a difference for the wildlife in our area, consider joining WIRES.

Now is a great time to join since their next workshop will be held in Lismore on February 23rd and there is time beforehand to complete the online part of the course.

For more information about how you can join and contribute call 66281898.

An all-volunteer organisation, WIRES relies heavily on the generosity of caring people for support.

All donations $2 and over are tax deductible. Now is also a great time to join WIRES and start learning to be a wildlife rescuer.

The 24-hour hotline is for all rescue, advice or membership calls in the Northern Rivers - call 6628 1898 or go to http://wiresnr. org/ Helping.html

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