Tierra Madre Wildlife Shelter
Tierra Madre means "Mother Earth" in Spanish, and this name was chosen because Mother Earth is the ultimate shelter for all living creatures, including us.
The purpose of this shelter is to offer a safe, loving, and caring place to native animals in difficult situations, so they can get better and well prepared to go back to their real home back in nature.
THE RESIDENTS: Each shelter is different and unique. Here in Tierra Madre we mainly receive possums, gliders, bats, non venomous reptiles, amphibians and little kangaroos, wombats and wallabies.
The animals we take into care are orphaned (1), injured (2), sick (3) or displaced (4).
The animals that come to the shelter are not our property or our pets, we are not their owners. We wildlife carers are here to serve them, to relieve them from their suffering and to give them a new hope.
Our work is volunteer, but the effort, dedication and commitment we put into it, I am sure is much bigger than any payed work we could do.
THE FACILITIES: The shelter has a nursery (1) for all the babies and intensive care animals, where they are housed and cared for, according with their age and condition.
The transition room (2) is an area where the animals have their first outdoor experience but they are still protected.
The outside aviaries (3) and multipurpose enclosure (4) are the places where the animals go for the ir final stage of rehabilitation before release.
Running a wildlife shelter is a constant adventure; each creature that comes to the shelter is a gift, an opportunity, a challenge, a teacher...
Each one has his or her own personality, history, likes and dislikes, traumas, fears and memories.
Most of them come in physical or emotional pain, but with lots of care they slowly start to feel at home, thrive, and be happy. Love is a great medicine!
Soon enough they start to make new friends and to explore further; their difficult past starts to fade away and new hopes, new chances and a brand new future starts to flourish.
We also have many animals that don’t make it and that is very, very sad. It is always upseting to see creatures suffering and witnessing the terrible things they go through.
The orphaned babies find a mum again and even new brothers and sisters, and of course, that changes their lives. They feel protected and cared for, which reduce their stress levels and their immune system start to work much better. They are just like us!!!
With time the babies become teenagers and the dehumanising process starts. All animals need to return to the wild where they belong and it is important that they are independent and able to survive without their human mum.
Finally, the release day comes and it is time to say good bye... It is a very special moment because after a lot of work, they have made it! They are getting a new opportunity in life to be free, to be part of nature again, to play their role within the ecosystem, to create their own families and to contribute to the next generation of their species.
It is a mixed feeling when you see your babies go, but it is very rewarding and you feel very proud of them. They were strong enough to survive a difficult time. They are an example of resilience and endurance, but at the same time they remind us of their fragility and vulnerability.
However, you haven’t finished releasing an animal, and you have a couple more coming through your door... here we go again!!!
The saddest thing is that most times, it is us humans, who bring so much pain and suffering to our wildlife. Our only comfort is knowing that we tried our best
Looking after wildlife is a privilege, a wonderful and rewarding experience, but it is also a big responsibility where full commitment is required. The animals always come first and you have to cater for each of them according with their species, their age and their condition.
The animals need to have appropriate housing, so we go from little pouches in a heated basket, to a big enclosure where they can jump, dig, climb, fly, play and so on...
They need the right food, so we keep all sorts of formulas, supplements, vitamins, additives, pellets and everything in between.
Preparing, giving and washing bottles takes up most of our lives!! Let’s not forget the browses and grass collecting.
Cleaning and disinfecting cages, washing dishes and containers, raking enclosures, washing towels, blankets and pouches is also part of the deal,
The sick and injured animals need medical attention, we need to clean and dress wounds, give medicines and injections and of course a good cuddle to cure everything.
Despite all the sacrifices and hard work, there is nothing compared to the joy you feel when they make it and you see that sparkle in their eyes when they are free again... it is all worth it!!
Our wildlife is the most amazing in the world, so unique and beautiful, but extremely fragile... we all need to appreciate their importance and we all need to work together to offer it a safer present and a more promising future.
HUMAN SEEDS has been created to be a voice for the animals and the environment by educating humans about responsibility, compassion, respect and care for this planet and its creatures.
HUMAN SEEDS has also been created as a small business to support Tierra Madre Wildlife Shelter, so many other native animals in need can be reached and helped.
As a shelter operator, I would like to thank all my fellow animal carers around Australia and the globe, who quietly and tirelessly work to bring hope, relief, health and happiness to many creatures in distress. To all the vets who serve wildlife free of charge, offering their time, knowledge, skills, and advice. To the members of the public who report and act when they find wildlife in distress, and finally to all animals for enriching our lives, teaching us so much and for making this planet a unique place. I am dedicating my life to you, and I hope that one day, life for you is no longer difficult because of our actions.
Nature is the ultimate shelter and this is a crucial time where action needs to be taken in order to protect it, enhance it and restore it. We can all make our own contribution to ensure that present and future generations of all living forms can enjoy the magic of this land.