Ascot Wildlife Carer Louise Dingle Recognised as Local Legend for Saving Animals After Devastating Bushfires

Louise Dingle local legend wildlife carer

For her efforts in saving and protecting wildlife in her community, Ascot’s Louise Dingle has been recently honoured in LG Electronics Australia’s Local Legends Program

The Local Legends Program is meant to recognise individuals in the community who have gone above and beyond to make positive contributions through their time, actions, talents, and dedication to others. The Local Legends Program lauded her actions that not only preserves Australia’s fragile ecosystem but also teaches children about the importance of wildlife care in the community. 

A proud mum to one son, Qantas flight attendant, and pro bono refugee therapist, Louise spends her free time helping protect the precious wildlife in the country. In the last 10 years, she has worked to save and protect the wildlife in her community. It all began when she noticed the number of animals getting injured during new runway construction at the airport. 


 
 


Ascor wildlife carer Louise Dingle

Her admirable dedication to preserving the wildlife became even more prominent during the tragic bushfires that happened in early 2020. Louise responded quickly by mobilising her community, network, and the refugees she works with to help rescue injured marsupials and other species that lost their homes. She and her group of volunteers kept the animals hydrated and warm before calling the RSPCA to organise care for them. 

Organising Wildlife Care

Louise took inspiration from her father who was always giving back to the community. Having lived in Rockhampton, she would often see kangaroos getting hit by cars. 

This was basically why she felt she needed to do something when she noticed that animals were getting wounded during demolition works for the second airport runway. The injured animals would run away from the bulldozed areas of land and head towards the roads where people drive past them. 

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She recognised the issue and did something about it. 


Using her space as a resource, she started the rescue of injured animals for rescue or rehab. In some unfortunate cases, the animals would have to be euthanised, but even so, Louise felt that it’s important to lessen the time the animals spent in pain before they get euthanised. 

Since she’s working as a volunteer therapist with refugees, she managed to get their help in supporting the wounded animals. The refugees often help in moving the animals to the vet or to RSPCA or help bundle them up to keep them warm before transport. 

“The support was overwhelming and the refugees I supported found a sense of purpose,” Louise said. 

“They often said to me that helping heal an animal helped heal them too.”

People in her neighbourhood, as well as her fellow flight attendants, also lend a hand in sewing and knitting warm clothing for the animals that needed to be kept warm. 

“So, I had all of these people who gave up their spare time to help out and they were usually really keen to help out too.”



Sense of Achievement

In her volunteer work as a wildlife carer, Louise finds achievement in having rescued hundreds of animals, especially the joeys and the baby possums. 

Louise is also glad that she’s able to raise awareness through her Facebook page

“Since the fires, people need to realise that what you see in the suburbs now is actually a really important habitat,” Louise said. 

“We lost so many animals in the devastating bushfires and what we see in the suburbs are truly important to Australia and to the DNA chain replenishing itself. 

“Therefore, what I’ve been able to do through my online platforms is raise awareness around the importance of suburban wildlife.”

 Louise is also happy that children in her community are growing up attached to the wildlife in the neighbourhood. 

“It’s lovely to see, especially during isolation,” she said.

Next Steps for the Initiative

Louise hopes that people would learn to the difference between a baby ring tail possum and a rat, and this is what her initiative is working on as its next step. 

“If you see their tail curling, it’s a possum then what you have is protected fauna. Our fauna is actually protected by the crown,” said Louise. 

“If you see a baby ring tail possum, just get a cloth or t-shirt and pop it in a box then ring the 24-hour RSPCA line. From there just sit with them for an hour or two. Act as the go-between of injury and rescue.”

Louise also wants to see people refraining from using rat poison as this sometimes kill possums that ingest poison left out for rats. The dead possums then get eaten by owls and eagles that also die because of the poison. 

“I just wish Australians who live in the suburbs of Brisbane or Sydney would stop using rat poison. It’s a painful death for the rats and it’s a painful death for owls and eagles.

“We need to realise that we’re in their territory.”