When WIRES was called to rescue a tiny animal wandering along a Molong driveway in early November, volunteer Marea Julian was not expecting to find a tiny one-month-old Echidna puggle.
Mrs Julian has been a WIRES volunteer since 1998, and has raised all manner of native species over the past two decades, so she was well equipped to take on the role of foster mum.
The young orphan was lucky to be alive as she was still relying on her mother's milk and had yet to even open her eyes.
VIDEO: Puggsley lapping up a meal ...
As is the case with many displaced orphans that come into WIRES care, the mother could not be found which is often the result of a predator attack or vehicle incident.
Nicknamed 'Puggsley' and now almost seven months old, the feisty young adult is due for release back into the wild next week.
According to Mrs Julian, every orphaned animal's rehabilitation and release is a wonderful accomplishment.
"It's such a privilege to be able to rescue and raise our amazing native animals," she said, adding that there were stark differences in the process to normal pet ownership.
"As carers we don't raise them as pets, as our mission is to help them to learn to fend for themselves in the wild."
Mrs Julian urged any animal lovers in the region to consider donating some time and expertise to WIRES, saying the experience was an extremely rewarding one.
"Being able to give them a second chance by releasing them back into their natural environment is such a wonderful feeling of achievement," she said.
"I encourage anyone who want to help the survival of NSW's unique native wildlife to consider joining WIRES where they can make a real difference."
WIRES is holding its next training course on Saturday, May 4 at Bathurst.
For more information head to www.wildlifetraining.org.au or call WIRES training on 02 8977 3392.
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