Incredible efforts to rescue pets, wildlife
GOOD Samaritans and wildlife carers have been run off their feet during Townsville's catastrophic floods trying to save as many animals as physically possible.
Bushland Beach resident Ashley D'Silva, along with her partner DJ and some friends, dropped everything to rescue more than a dozen pets after owners in the Idalia and Fairfield areas were rapidly evacuated.
Ms D'Silva said her impromptu rescue team saved about 15 dogs, three cats and ten humans in the space of about six hours.
She said she was helping a friend try and make contact with her mother but was cut off near Fairfield Central shopping centre, and spoke to people who had been evacuated and weren't allowed to bring their pets who were distressed about leaving their animals.
She then used social media to put the call out to see where the animals were that needed rescuing.
"I got an influx of messages from all these people that had abandoned their animals," she said.
"We literally went around breaking into people's houses and taking animals.
"A couple of people met us at Fairfield and gave me keys to their houses, we went back there and collected cats, there were families coming out with children saying we're staying but if you can just take our children for me, if there were people that wanted to get out we took them as well."
Ms D'Silva said she lost everything while living in Mission Beach during Cyclone Yasi, and knew she wanted to do what she could to help.
"You don't really know how bad the situation is until you're actually in it," she said.
"There was so many people in the community out there doing what they can. It was so nice to see the community pull together."
Ms D'Silva said the choice residents were faced with when they were told by police, the SES or the ADF to evacuate immediately without their animals would have been extremely difficult.
"My animals are my kids so I wouldn't have left without them, but when you have a family with kids as well as pets and you have choose between your pets and your own kids, it's a hard situation," she said.
Wildlife carers Dan and Paula McKinlay shared a story of both tragedy and hope while saving a little orphaned joey just north of Ingham at the weekend.
"We were out in the yard in the torrential rain looking for a very young joey we had seen after we'd heard it crying out for its mother," the couple said.
"We found this very large Amethystine Python in our front yard eating an adult wallaby. We concluded it was the joey's mother when the joey kept returning and standing right beside the snake."
The couple captured the baby joey and are now caring for her.
"Three days later she still cries out for her mother," they said.
"We have named her Trinket."
Another heartwarming wallaby rescue has also gone viral on social media, with even Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill sharing the post.
Two soldiers plucked a wallaby from fast-flowing floodwaters, wrapping him in a jacket and naming him 'Skippy'.
The soldiers earned praise from around the country.