APOLLO BAY residents are playing mum to injured Otways wildlife.
The Otway Wildlife Group cares for a range of young native animals that have been separated from their mothers.
Group co-ordinator Willie Bedford said looking after the wildlife was a difficult job.
“It takes a lot of time and a lot of energy and it is quite expensive, you’ve got to build aviaries and enclosures and sometimes the animals can be in care for 18 months,” Ms Bedford said.
“There’s a lot of training and a lot of time commitment and you have to use your own resources,” she said.
“It’s a joy to see them released into the wild, it’s one of the most beautiful things to see them grow up healthy.
“We do have to deal with a bit of grief though because sometimes we can’t get them back to full health.”
The group will host a native bird workshop on August 17 to help carers learn important skills for looking after the animals.
Melbourne wildlife veterinarian Anne Fowler will present the workshop which will focus on appropriate handling, housing and dietary requirements of injured native birds, various conditions birds can suffer from and rehabilitation techniques.
Ms Bedford said it was important for carers to know how to care for a broad range of animals.
“The training of wildlife carers is very important to give the animals the best possible chance of survival,” she said.
“Our wildlife vets in Colac are very supportive, they really help us through problems that we can’t help with.
“But it is a bit difficult because we are an hour away from Colac so we’ve got to be as knowledgeable as we can to help the animals.”
Wildlife carer Pamela Carey said she was new to the role and appreciated the opportunity to receive any training she could.
“For me as a new carer this kind of education is really important, we can’t get really qualified people here just to teach me,” Ms Carey said.
“This will give me and the newer carers great training, it’s a huge privilege for us to have such a great veterinarian come here to teach us,” she said.
“Finding people who are willing to come to Apollo Bay and who know so much is wonderful, we need that kind of knowledge here.”
For more information on the workshop people can e-mail Ms Bedford.