My Local Hero

January 13, 2011

roo man

A father of five ignored police threats when he waded into flood waters to save a baby kangaroo in Ipswich, west of Brisbane.

Footage showed Ray Cole, 39, as he saved the joey from drowning near One Mile Bridge in Queensland, where devastating floods have killed 12 people over the past week.

Mr Cole said he “couldn’t stand there and watch our coat of arms just drown,” the Herald Sun reports.

“When I was growing up on the streets of Preston (Melbourne) we learned and lived by the motto that you reach out and help others,” Mr Cole said.

Mr Cole spotted the joey with about 50 other people who were watching the raging floodwater in the Bremer river at One Mile Bridge.

“I could just see its little head bobbing up and down and I knew it didn’t stand a chance,” he said.

“So I went in and by the time I got to it, it had been hit by a log and its eyes were the only things still out of the water.”

Police threatened to arrest Mr Cole as he went to rescue the struggling animal.

When he managed to bring it back to shore they told him he’d risked his life.

But Mr Cole said he was comfortable with his actions.

“You do what you do and I can live with that,” he said.

Mr Cole said last he saw it some other helpers had wrapped a blanket around the kangaroo and it was back on its feet.

RSPCA Queensland inspector Travis Cooper said native animals would be the most likely to survive the floods.

“They can swim so have more chance to get of danger,” he said.

“It’s not as easy for domestic pets or livestock that can’t escape paddocks or houses at risk of floodwaters.”

The organisation had to evacuate all animals at its Fairfield headquarters because of the flooding. Volunteers have stepped up to act as foster carers.

The RSPCA is getting 100 calls a minute from distressed animal owners unable to get to their pets.

Staff have been prevented from putting boats in the water for rescues because of strong tidal flows.

Monica Allen, from the Australian Rescue and Rehabilitation of Wildlife, said Ipswich was isolated and people could not deliver wildlife, while carers could not get out.

“I’ve got a baby koala here at the moment and only about a day’s supply of fresh gum leaves for it,” she said.

Many organisations are accepting donations to help care for animals

QLD floods devastate wildlife


Wildlife Protection Association of Australian ~ click to make a donation


One comment

  1. A true heart of compassion! I’m glad they’re both okay.

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