A Sunshine Coast bat carer is lucky to be alive after her car crashed during a rescue operation at Peregian. Photo: Contributed
A Sunshine Coast bat carer is lucky to be alive after her car crashed during a rescue operation at Peregian. Photo: Contributed

Carer makes lucky escape after rescue ends in crash

A SUNSHINE Coast animal carer is lucky to be alive after her car crashed while she was on her way to help starving bats, leaving her unable to continue her work.

Terri Ridgway, 72, was on her way to rescue the bats on Thursday when she lost control of her Nissan X-Trail and went “10-30m” down an embankment.

Ms Ridgway, who cares for injured bats at Eumundi Wildlife Centre, was uninjured in the crash, but her car was written-off.

The wildlife centre’s Janis “Blondie” Shirtcliffe, said Ms Ridgway was “extremely lucky” that a tree stopped the car from rolling further.

Terri Ridgway is without transport after the crash and can’t travel to help injured bats. Photo: Contributed
Terri Ridgway is without transport after the crash and can’t travel to help injured bats. Photo: Contributed

“She was extremely lucky,” Ms Shirtcliffe said.

“If the tree wasn’t there, she wouldn’t be here today.”

She said Ms Ridgway had comprehensive insurance but the car was only valued at $2000.

Without a four-wheel-drive Ms Ridgway is without transport and can’t travel around the Coast to help injured bats, leaving volunteers at the wildlife centre without the help they need.

“She’s one of our go-to ladies,” Ms Shirtcliffe said.

“We send her out on rescues and when we’ve got injured bats, we sent them to her.

“Her not being there is quite a big impact on us.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Ms Ridgway get another car and continue doing her work.

Bats across southeast Queensland are starving due to dry conditions, with animal rescuers seeing a huge spike in “exhausted” bats.

Ms Shirtcliffe said it was important for people to leave the bats alone and call a rescuer for help.

“If you see a bat, possibly give it some shade and water and get someone to come and retrieve it,” she said.

“Please don’t handle them yourself.

“They’re one of our biggest pollinators.

They’re like bees, we need to save them.”

To donate to the GoFundMe, click here.