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AUS Press: Lizards' friend helps in balance of nature

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Posted by: W von Papinešu at Tue Jan 17 20:04:21 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papinešu ]  
   

MAITLAND MERCURY (Australia) 18 January 06 Lizards' friend helps in balance of nature (Briony Snedden)
Lizards play an important role in neighbourhood gardens, according to Ann Hogan.
Renowned as Vacy's Lizard Lady, Mrs Hogan has devoted the past 15 years of her life to rescuing, rehabilitating and most importantly releasing injured native animals.
She has a penchant for lizards, turtles and goannas, fuelled by the contribution the animals to make to human health.
She said the animals were a natural predator for disease-carrying pests, which eradicated the need for pesticides.
"rs Hogan has been a Native Animal Trust Fund wildlife rescue volunteer for 15 years, licenced under the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The former veterinary nurse has about 10 lizards and goannas in a specially built animal hospital that has earned her Vacy property the nickname of Lizard Lodge.
But she said that number was less than average.The animals that come to her have been injured in some way.
"You get animals that have been hit by cars or have been the victims of cruelty in some way, but the majority are injured in dog attacks," Mrs Hogan said.
"The dogs are only doing their job and protecting their property, but that's what makes it so sad."
Mrs Hogan said there was a big population of lizards that lived unknown in our backyards.
But dog attacks, cars and modern living were taking their toll.
"I would estimate that in two generations we will only see them down at the Australian Reptile Park (in Gosford)," she said.
Her work is so important that she continued to nurse injured lizards against doctors' advice while she was treated for Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. She has been in remission for three months.
The most important part of the process of rehabilitating an injured lizard for Mrs Hogan was returning it to place it came from.
"If they can't, they go back to a safe area within 20km of where they were picked up," she said.
Anyone who finds an injured lizard can telephone 0500 502 294.

http://maitland.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=local&story_id=452256&category=General News&m=1&y=2006


   

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