Dog mauls a rare white bobtail lizard
Greenough wildlife carer Michelle Jones has been inundated with injured reptiles lately, including an extremely rare white bobtail.
Ms Jones said with the arrival of warmer weather, reptiles — particularly bobtails, snakes and goannas — were emerging and being attacked by pets after entering backyards in search of water.
“I’ve got 24 in my care at the moment, most of them from dog attacks,” she said.
“One of them nearly had his head torn off. I’ve had him in care now for nearly 10 days and his head is healing up really well.
“The other day I picked up a beautiful, unique, rare-as-rocking-horse-poo white bobtail that a dog had grabbed.
“I had never seen one in my life.
“He’s doing OK. He’s on his fifth day of recovery and on antibiotics.”
Ms Jones said placing shallow water bowls around the outskirts of one’s property was a good way to prevent encounters between reptiles and pets — which could result in the pet coming off second best.
“If your dog chases bobtails, there’s a 90 per cent chance it’s going to chase a snake,” she said.
“A snake’s not going to be as forgiving as a bobtail.
“I had a gwardar (western brown snake) the other day killed by a lady’s dog and she was very lucky that her dog didn’t get whacked.”
Ms Jones urged motorists to watch out for reptiles crossing roads, adding she had seen “at least 50 squashed on the road in the past few weeks”.
She said anyone who found an injured reptile should call the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055 and a licensed carer would assist.
“Allowing them to take off into the bush and slowly die is not a very humane thing to do,” she said.
Other simple measures to make backyards less attractive for reptiles include keeping the grass cut and removing build-up of organic waste. For more tips, readers can call Ms Jones on 0401 272 608.
Ms Jones also recommended calling the City of Greater Geraldton for the contact details of local reptile handlers.
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