Posted on 02nd May 2023 by Media Relations
Sixteen baby Bearded Dragons have been returned to the wild following a dramatic rescue by one of Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s very own veterinary nurses, Jo Milgate.
Just before Christmas 2022, Jo was driving home from work when she spotted an injured Bearded Dragon in the middle of the road. It appeared to have been hit by a car and sustained a skull fracture.
“I could feel that she was full of eggs when I initially picked her up.” Jo said. “She wouldn’t have been too far off laying them.”
Unfortunately, the injured reptile died before Jo arrived home, but she determinedly salvaged the eggs and kept them warm, until she could get them into an incubator at the Wildlife Hospital the following day.
Unfortunately, the injured reptile died before Jo arrived home. She was able to remove the eggs and keep them warm overnight. The following day they were taken to the Wildlife Hospital and carefully placed in the incubator.
On March 20, 2023, the eggs began hatching and over the next three days, all 16 baby Bearded Dragons emerged. The tiny lizards were all checked and deemed to be healthy and suitable for release. Four days after hatching, the Bearded Dragons were released back into the wild, near where their mother had been found three months earlier.
“Although the mother died, it was a great result to see all 16 Bearded Dragons successfully released back into the wild,” Jo said.
“The Wildlife Hospital provides professional veterinary care to all native wildlife. The service is available to all injured or orphaned native species.”
Jo said the incident serves as a reminder to be mindful of all wildlife on our roads.
“Reptiles like the warmth of the road. During summer they are often seen basking and as the weather cools, so do the lizards, and therefore are slower to get out of the way.”
“It is a timely reminder to keep an eye out for all wildlife on our roads.”
Please be cautious when driving. If you do come across injured wildlife, and it is safe to do so, it is important to get the the animal assessed by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Native wildlife can be taken to the Zoo's Wildlife Hospital for assessment. If you can’t bring it to a nearby Taronga Wildlife Hospital or vet, please contact WIRES for assistance.