Two orphaned wombat joeys have had a lucky escape from floodwaters after they were rescued from Belanglo State Forest in the NSW Southern Highlands on Tuesday.
Torrential rain hit the region on Monday morning, closing roads, schools, and threatening homes, businesses, and wildlife.
Southern Highlands local Kay Waller found the wombats while checking her chickens as the water rose quickly around her home.
She told ACM she had seen a wombat, mother to one of the joeys, sitting above the waterline.
"I told her to get up on higher ground or she was going to be in trouble. I tried to shoo her up but she wouldn't move," Ms Waller said.
"When I came back the water had risen up to my knees and there was no sign of her, but the little baby was trying to hold on to the chicken wire fence to keep above water," she said.
Ms Waller found the other joey swimming. Putting them both in a box, she rang Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation, WIRES.
A spokesman for WIRES said the wombats are about one kilogram each and appear healthy.
Once cleared by a vet, the joeys will be raised and released back into the forest in 12 months time.
The floods and high rainfall across much of Queensland and NSW is leading to an influx of calls to WIRES.
Predominately, the spokesperson said, calls had been in regards to birds and possums.
"A lot of these animals live in tree hollows. If the rain just continues the tree hollows can fill up with water and sometimes when they're trying to escape they get caught in the floods," the spokesperson told ACM.
When it comes to helping animals during the floods, WIRES urged people to watch out for themselves first.
Most native animals will find their way out of a lot of situations.
The spokesperson said, they're best left to their own devices unless it's obvious that they're stuck.
In situations where animals are around the house, under the eaves, in carports and garages trying to find shelter, WIRES advises people to keep domestic pets contained.
Australian wildlife faced the brunt of much of the Black Summer bushfires only two years ago, and are now in danger from the catastrophic flood event.
"It's just another knock to our wildlife that they didn't need," the WIRES spokesperson said.
"It's not just the wildlife, the people who are involved are the people who were involved two years ago. A lot of them are seeing this.
"I think it's bringing back a lot of trauma for people and we just have to get through it and know that populations of wildlife will rebuild and we need to be there to rescue as many as we can."
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