Baby in Hospital

Newborn baby abandoned outside hospital

A NEWBORN baby has been found abandoned, dumped outside a hospital in Western Australia.

The baby, believed to be less than 24-hours-old, was reportedly left in front of the nurses’ quarters, across the road from the local hospital in Geraldton, 400km north of Perth, on Saturday morning.

It’s understood residents who live close to the hospital raised the alarm about 7am after hearing the baby crying.

The infant was taken to the hospital where it is being looked after by nurses and is reported to be in good health.

Concerned for the baby’s mother’s welfare, Geraldton detectives urged her to come forward and contact police as it was likely she would require medical attention.

She was located more than four hours later, about 11.30am, and also taken to hospital for assessment.

It”s the second time a newborn baby has been abandoned in Western Australia in four months.

A baby boy was left in a box outside a medical centre in Booragoon, in Perth’s south in March.

Anyone requiring support or help in Western Australia can call the state’s Crisis Care Helpline on 9223 1111.

If you are in immediate danger call 000 now.  If you require advice or assistance, the following services can offer counselling and support:
Lifeline 13 11 14
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Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
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Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
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MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
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‘Wildlife smugglers’ caught with 13 native lizards in luggage

TWO Japanese men have been charged after allegedly trying to smuggle more than a dozen native bobtail lizards out of Australia in their luggage.

The men, aged 28 and 51, were detained at Perth International Airport on Wednesday after allegedly trying to board separate flights to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur with the animals in their luggage.

It’s alleged 13 bobtail lizards were found packed inside netted laundry bags which were wrapped in towels inside two plastic containers in the older man’s check-in suitcase.

Source: Australian Border Force

Border Force officers also allegedly found empty laundry bags and plastic containers in the younger man’s baggage, as well as photos on his mobile phone of shingleback lizards and what appears to be one of the two containers of lizards.

While all of the lizards in the older man’s luggage were alive, none had access to food or water and some appeared to be in poor health.

It’s alleged the men are part of a much larger international wildlife smuggling syndicate and are linked to three other Japanese nationals charged with similar offences in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth over the past six months.

The lizards are known to sell for up to $10,000 each on the international black market.

Source: Australian Border Force

Source: Australian Border Force

The 51-year-old has been charged with attempting to export a regulated native specimen, and subjecting the lizards to cruel treatment, contrary to the Environment Protection and Bio-diversity Conservation ACT 1999.

The younger man is charged with aiding and abetting the attempted export.

Both men were remanded in custody overnight and due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court today.

The 28-year-old arrived in Australia, via Brisbane, in May, while the 51-year-old arrived in Perth last Monday.

Source: Australian Border Force

The maximum penalty for wildlife trade offences under Australian law is 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $210,000 for individuals or up to $1,050,000 for corporations.

Parks and Wildlife Service is expected to lay a number of additional charges under the Western Australian Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

The ABF Superintendent of Enforcement Operations in WA, Clint Sims, said the ABF works closely with its state and federal partners to detect, disrupt and investigate those involved in this cruel trade.

“Wildlife smuggling is a lucrative trade and we know individuals and organised criminal syndicates can make significant profits by exporting and selling Australia’s unique native fauna overseas, particularly in Asia,” Superintendent Sims said.

“The ABF is doing all it can to prevent that from happening.”

Parks and Wildlife Service wildlife officer Karen Smith said Australian reptiles were highly sought after on the black market because they were easy to care for, attractive, and exotic.

“The smuggling of native wildlife is not only illegal but cruel and inhumane, with reptiles often smuggled for extended periods of time without food or water, in extremes of temperature and generally in confined spaces,” she said.

People with information about the illegal removal of reptiles or who notice any suspicious border related activity should call Australian Border Force’s Border Watch at or the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

Extremely rare gibbon born at Perth Zoo

A NEWBORN white-cheeked gibbon, one of the world’s rarest apes, has made its public debut at Perth Zoo before keepers have had the chance to determine its gender.

The infant was born 21 days ago to mother Jermei, whose calm nature has allowed zoo visitors to get a glimpse of the new addition.

“While we give mother and baby the space to bond, we haven’t yet determined if it is a male or female, but it has been seen suckling and is strong and healthy,” primate supervisor Holly Thompson said on Wednesday.

“Brother Canh is fascinated by his new sibling but Jermei has had to temper his enthusiasm when he gets a little bit overexcited.

“It’s a lovely family dynamic to watch.”

Perth Zoo is just one-of-three zoos in Australasia breeding the critically endangered species in a bid to prevent extinction.

Habitat destruction across their home range of China, Vietnam and Laos is a major threat to the animals, which are also targeted for the illegal pet trade.

The zoo also helps save the species in the wild, funding monitoring points at Pu Mat National Park in Vietnam, which is one of the last white-cheeked gibbon strongholds.

“This is desperately needed as conservationists do not know how few gibbons remain in the wild,” Ms Thompson said.

“We’ve also supported programs to educate more than 700 people living around the park about the rare ape.”

© AAP 2019

Priest accused of child sex abuse found dead

A CATHOLIC priest investigated over child sex abuse allegations has been found dead in Western Australia.

Father Joseph Tran was found dead on Thursday after WA Police began investigating the claims against him.

It’s understood the priest was being investigated over allegations he sexually abused a young teenage girl.

The priest was informed of the allegations before his sudden death, the Australian Associated Press reported.

“Police commenced an investigation relating to an allegation of child sexual abuse by a priest from a Catholic Church located in the southern suburbs,” a WA police spokesman said.

“During the investigation (on Thursday) the priest was located deceased.”

In a statement on Saturday, the Catholic Archbishop of Perth said the news was “heartbreaking”.

“This news is heartbreaking for everyone involved,” Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe said.

“The young girl who with her family found the courage to go to the police must be supported in every way, and the Archdiocese stands ready to help in whatever way we can.”

The archbishop said the priest’s family will be “devastated” by his death and “horrified by the circumstances”.

WA Police confirmed the priest’s death is not being treated as suspicious.

A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

If you are in immediate danger call 000 now.  If you require advice or assistance, the following services can offer counselling and support:
Lifeline 13 11 14
| visit website
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
| visit website
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
| visit website
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
| visit website


Woman run over and killed by truck, moments after being hit by car

A WOMAN has been run over and killed by a truck just moments after being run over by a car on a highway in Western Australia.

The woman, believed to be aged in her 20s, was reportedly laying across the road at the intersection of Hannan Street and the Goldfields Highway in Kalgoorlie when tragedy struck just before 10pm on Wednesday.

WA Police said a beige Ford Falcon sedan travelling along the highway first struck the woman about 9.50pm.

The driver of the Ford immediately stopped to help the woman but before he could, she was run over by a blue Mack truck towing a trailer, police said.

Sadly, the young woman sustained life-threatening injuries and could not be saved.

Police confirmed the woman was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Both drivers are assisting police with their inquiries.

Major crash investigators are urging anyone who witnessed the crash, the woman or either vehicles prior to the incident to come forward and call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.