WILD IDEA: Suez Noosa sewage treatment plant manager Michaal O'Connell, Member for Noosa Glen Elmes, Wildcare Australia's Rachel Lyons of Pomona and Nigel Cope with the animal release shelter.
WILD IDEA: Suez Noosa sewage treatment plant manager Michaal O'Connell, Member for Noosa Glen Elmes, Wildcare Australia's Rachel Lyons of Pomona and Nigel Cope with the animal release shelter. Peter gardiner

Wild about waste donation release

WHEN two possums began their slow release back into the Sunshine Coast hinterland last weekend after being rehabilitated by Wildcare Australia, they had Noosa's waste water treatment to thank for their moving moment back to the wild.

Flushed with $3800 from the SUEZ community grants, Wildcare had built a large mobile animal release shelter, which is part aviary and possum pen.

SUEZ has been operating the plant since 1997.

Pomona-based Rachel Lyons, of Wildcare Australia, said the mobile soft release shelter would go a long way to providing less stressed animals on their return to the wild. She said her volunteers would now have access to specialised equipment which "we were not able to purchase otherwise”.

"Most wildlife is quite habitual ... they don't cope with change very well,” she said.

"So that when we go from rehabilitation facilities to the release area, we need to do it in a transitional way.

"What we do is we take the trailer out on site for a couple of weeks with the animal in it all closed up and then once the animal is settled in and gotten used to the surroundings, and the same species and the sights and the sound.”

It is then just a case of opening the hatches and letting nature take its course. SUEZ plant manager Michael O'Connell said SUEZ was committed to wildlife welfare, and the staff had been part of call- outs at the plant to rescue birds and flying foxes.

"SUEZ is proud to be able to support the wonderful volunteers at Wildcare Australia,” he said.

State Member for Noosa Glen Elmes MP said the shelter was something "pretty special” and the value of programs such as Wildlife Australia's mobile shelter must never be underestimated.

"Our wildlife needs all the help it can get.”


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