GIVING mouth to mouth to a swamp wallaby might make most a bit queasy, but for Mick Hussin it was simply the loving thing to do.
On Saturday the Victorian holidaymaker was having a beer on a veranda on Belongil Creek when he noticed a pack of dogs chasing a small animal on the opposite bank.
Seconds later the helpless creature was swimming for its life to escape the hungry hounds.
Springing into action, Mr Hussin raced down to the creek and leapt in just as the struggling animal was sinking beneath the water.
It was limp and unconscious by the time he fished it out, which is when Act II of the heroics began.
Mr Hussin had done a first aid course as part of his job and decided to use it.
"My girlfriend (a nurse) was saying 'There's no way you're going to get it back," he said.
"It was pretty much gone," he said.
"I don't know why I kept going. I just felt like it was a possibility; I just felt so bad for it."
And his instinct was right. After 10 minutes he was almost ready to give up when one little paw stirred and then the other.
"I was rapt," he said.
Holding the joey close to his chest in a makeshift pouch, he phoned WIRES hotline and the miracle survivor was soon picked up.
Named Lucky, the little swamp wallaby weighs just 1.6kg and is now in the care of WIRES volunteers.
Mr Hussin seems destined to cross the path of animals in need.
Ten years ago Mr Hussin found an abandoned puppy the size of a tennis ball collapsed in a puddle with its paws literally worn down to the bone.
After $600 of injections, the pup came good and Mr Hussin named him Lucky.
"Little" Lucky turned out to be a great dane-rottweiler cross and today the Hussins' pet weighs 68kg.
It is a volunteer organisation and always needs new members throughout the Northern Rivers. Phone the 24 hour hotline on 6620 1898 to report sightings or to volunteer.
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.