MIRIAM Margolyes has a new best friend named Quentin.
Quentin is a tiger quoll and one of the 59 per cent of all native mammals in NSW now listed as threatened with extinction.
Ms Margolyes, best known as Professor Pomona Sprout in the Harry Potter movies, made a special appearance at Featherdale Wildlife Park on Thursday, April 16 as ambassador for the Nature Conservation Trust of NSW (NCT) to support its campaign to protect the threatened tiger quoll.
It was the first time Ms Margolyes and Quentin had met.
“I stroked the quoll and it was so beautiful it made me cry,” she said.
Ms Margolyes is a Robertson resident and she has taken the battle to preserve Australian wildlife into her home.
The NCT inspected her property and put a conservation agreement on it, which Ms Margolyes said protected everything that lived on the land, including quolls.
“I’ve never seen one, but I’m told they are on the land and the NCT has put cameras around to observe them,” she said.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity and I don’t know why all rich people don’t do it.
“Anyone who owns land can do it and if you’re not involved in primary industries then you get a Land Tax rebate.”
Ms Margolyes’ interest in Australian wildlife was sparked by simply learning a little bit about it.
“When I came here I didn’t know anything and it’s so varied and extraordinary,” she said.
Australia is home to some of the most deadly creatures in the world, however Ms Margolyes said none were as deadly as the Homo sapien.
“Man is the most dangerous animal on earth,” she said.
“They’re responsible for all the developments which make the few rich but denude the environment.”
Ms Margolyes fell in love with the Southern Highlands when she leant her voice to the character of Fly the border collie in the movie Babe.
Her property at Robertson has been a dream come true and surrounded her with native Australian animals, including her previous favourite animal, the wombat.
“I love wombats, they’re so sturdy and beautiful and they come and rub against the wooden poles at our home at night,” she said.
“But once I saw the quoll and looked into its eyes I was hooked.”
Her commitment to both the tiger quoll and the NCT is life-long.
“I will do whatever they ask me to do,” Ms Margolyes said.
Ms Margolyes is currently touring Australia with her one woman show The Importance of Being Miriam with dates in Sydney and Wollongong.
Sydney Opera House: Tuesday, April 21 to Sunday April 26
Merrigong Theatre, Wollongong: Tuesday, May 12 and Wednesday, May 13