Friday, January 6, 2012

Dad and daughter to the rescue

MALACCA: On a superbike and armed with a first-aid kit, an Aussie father-and-daughter team is hitting the roads here in the evenings – to find and treat injured monitor lizards.
Documentary producer Luke Adam Mitchell, 48, and daughter Sarah Lee Honey Bee, 27, on their 250cc Ya­­maha motorcycle, have dubbed themselves “Biawak Dundees”.
They come across about three cases of the injured reptile daily and have saved at least two so far.
The duo’s rescue efforts began when Mitchell found an injured monitor lizard along the AMJ highway in Semabok here last month.
They saved the reptile by treating the gash on its head.
Their efforts were rewarded when the reptile made its way to the Malacca River just an hour after treatment.
“Since then, we decided not to wait for ‘superheroes’ to come to the rescue of the biawak in the city.
“Our determination to do something for the welfare of animals saw the setting-up of the father-daughter rescue team,” Mitchell said after a patrol to look for injured monitor lizards in Lorong Hang Jebat here.
He said they would frequently go around the city to look for injured monitor lizards, adding that the treatment was similar to that given to crocodiles in Australia.
“I provide treatment on the spot if the injuries are relatively minor. There is no reason to stress the animal by taking it to the vet,” said Mitchell, who hails from the Gold Coast and will be in Malaysia for the next two years.
A memorable experience was rescuing a monitor lizard that was stuck in the bathtub at a home in Klebang here recently.
“By the time we reached the home, it was dark and there was no light. But we managed to take the little reptile out and release it back to its natural habitat,” he said.
Mitchell added that the locals were unwilling to help injured monitor lizards due to its reputation of being a scavenger.
“I don’t see anything repulsive in touching these reptiles. I have not contracted any skin disease,” he said. - theStarOnline

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