One of the joys of living with wild animals is going for a walk and having previously cared-for animals come over to you to say ‘hello’.
Late in the afternoons the local kangaroo mob with their alpha male gather near our treatment centre in the hope they might get some additional feed. Most times we oblige and give them a bucket or two.This allows us to monitor our wild mob for sick or injured animals . For a few weeks we had noticed one of the mothers had a very large joey in her pouch and wondered why it had not yet emerged. The answer became clear one such evening.
She was as beautiful as the music she was named after and a very lucky little joey. Elise was caught by her foot in a wire fence suspended off the ground on a hot afternoon. The wire had cut deeply into the skin proximal to the metatarsophalangeal joint( between the ankle and toe).
Steve and Rosemary’s story
‘Dasher’ had lost her long time and inseparable companion ‘Rudi’ to cardiomyopathy – resulting from being chased by a dog.
For weeks Dasher ran expectantly back and forth to all the favourite places she had shared with her friend – the Casuarina embankment, ‘Rudi’s tree’ with its long shady branches, amongst the rose bushes and in amongst the violets calling out urgently . She pulled herself up high enough to look through every window of the house with the same sense of expectation she might find her friend.
Denton was never your typical wombat. Named because of the dental and other surgery to fix a fractured jaw when his mother was killed by a motor vehicle, he was happiest sleeping in a backpack. Initially this was alright but as he continued to grow this soon became impractical. ‘Attack’ was his mode of operation with anything that moved and several of us have the scars on our legs to prove it. He would get up on his hind legs and bring his teeth down into your flesh. He was impossible to outrun and he would knock our in-care kangaroo joeys over like nine pins given half a chance.
The snow lay lightly on the surrounding hills on a frosty July morning when the call for a wombat rescue came in. The prospects for a successful rescue did not seem good when told by the wildlife rescue line caller that the mother had been killed the night before. With overnight temperatures at minus six, there was little movement in the pouch. One very small pink arm lay dangling motionless outside the pouch in the freezing air.
The snow lay lightly on the surrounding hills on a frosty July morning when the call for a wombat rescue came in…
Monga the wombat was rescued near Mongarlowe. Weighing in at 34 kilograms the wild wombat, despite having a dislocated elbow and fractured wrist as a result of a motor vehicle accident, had no wish to be rescued and put up a real fight, which involved wrecking two nets, and bruising his rescuers.
The rescue and rehabilitation of injured native animals is a team effort and Bertha the wombat has many people to thank. Bertha was injured near a major highway and then was seen scurrying down her burrow. First she had to be dug out of the burrow. When rescued, X-rays showed Bertha had fractured her pelvis in three places.
There has been a mystery illness killing the juvenile (last year’s joeys) Eastern Grey Kangaroos in the Wamboin /Bywong area over the last 2 months. The first cases we became aware of were rescues by experienced wildlife carers in the local area; Jo Walker, Tony and Terry Cooper and ourselves. The animals were so weak that the rescuers could often just walk up to them and wrap them in a blanket. Most would die within 12-24 hours despite treatment with warmth and security, fluids antibiotics and nutrition.
On Australia Day Rosemary was recognised for her services to wildlife rescue and recovery in the Palerang Shire at a ceremony at the council chambers in Bungendore. With Steve, Rosemary has rescued and helped in the recovery of more than 4000 injured wildlife over the past 15 years. In 2015 alone more than 350 wild animals were taken in to the self-funded Possumwood Wildlife Recovery and Research Centre for treatment and recovery.