Spoiler alert! This post has nothing to do with rugby!
One of the lovely things about living in the Tassie cabin, surrounded by bush, is that it is an ideal release site for rescued and rehabilitated wildlife. A little while ago we did a course to learn how to rescue and care for injured and orphaned wildlife. We decided to do that because it was so difficult to see injured wildlife that had been hit by cars and not know what to do. After doing the course we had the opportunity to hand-rear some orphaned animals. It was just wonderful that they could head off into the wild right here once they were old enough and strong enough to leave our care.
Very young animals are initially cared for indoors. As they grow they start to spend time in an outdoor enclosure and this is ours, in the bush about 50 metres from the cabin. Here they get used to the sights and sounds of what will be their natural habitat.
There are many dedicated wildlife carers and they are so devoted to the animals in their care. But along with this devotion comes the knowledge that their babies will have to leave home, they can’t become pets. The whole aim is to get the little critters strong and healthy enough to be able to survive in the wild. One difficulty that some carers have is finding a suitable release location when the time comes for their babies to leave home.
There are lots of things to consider when choosing a release site. There must be other animals of the same species living there. That way they can find a mate when the time comes, which seems to be pretty early on with a lot of them. Plenty of teen pregnancies going on around here! There has to be enough naturally occurring food in the habitat to support the arrival of the extra animals. It shouldn’t be necessary to supplement feed the animals once they are fully released and living in the bush. It’s best if any nearby roads don’t have much traffic and there are no dogs or cats nearby. Also no shooters on neighbouring properties. Apparently our property is wallaby heaven!
Yesterday we had some carers bring out the six (yes, six!!!) Bennetts wallabies they have been hand-rearing. Some were just tiny babies when they first came into their care. Now they are almost ready to be released and since they were raised together, they will be released together.
These sweet little wallabies will spend a week or so in the safety of our pre-release enclosure getting used to their new surroundings. They could graze down this enclosed space pretty quickly so get extra grass that we are picking from our orchard area. It’s fenced off from the wildlife and luckily the grass is a bit overgrown there at the moment. Sometimes it’s good not to keep up with all the chores!
I’m so happy we can help the other carers and play a part in the return of these little darlings to the wild.