Answering call of wild

DEC animal control agent Paul Falconer-West with a badly burnt kangaroo.
DEC animal control agent Paul Falconer-West with a badly burnt kangaroo.

He has to deal with an aftermath of suffering wildlife caught in its path.

Having been in the air force for about 40 years, Mr Falconer-West joined the Department of Environment and Conservation in 2009 to help animals in need.

The quality and safety manager at RAAF Pearce and air force reservist is called out after fires any time between 5am and 11pm and works from Yanchep to the Chittering Valley and Midland.

Among his saddest tasks is to end the suffering of animal fire victims.

Mr Falconer-West was called to The Vines on March 7 when a family reported an injured kangaroo in the bushes after the recent fire.

‘She had lost the front of both her feet and had a burnt tail,’ he said.

‘In the time it took me to get there, she had moved 300m to a more secluded area, from a roadside tree, down into a culvert, climbed a ridge and across an open sand area of 150m to a small copse of trees ” what an incredible survival instinct.

‘These poor kangaroos try to survive with burnt flesh and it’s harrowing to know the animals are out there suffering. That’s why I try to react as quickly as I can to get to the animal and put it out of its misery.’

Since becoming an animal control agent, Mr Falconer-West has had more than 170 callouts.

In his spare time, he likes ballroom dancing, playing scrabble, dabbling in photography and flying planes.

‘I can fly 32 different aircraft and have a total flying time of 759 hours, of which 155 hours are in Tiger Moths,’ he said.