Wallaby joey chased by dogs on the beach

Last Sunday morning Jaz was walking her dog at Suffolk Park allocated dog beach when she noticed two dogs chasing a very small wallaby joey. The tiny joey was jumping in and out of the water, the dogs nipping at its heels.
Jaz called out to the dog’s owner to stop them, he responded by calling his dogs, but made no attempt to restrain them.
Jaz was carrying a towel which she managed to throw over the joey and the dogs retreated.
As Jaz carefully picked up the tiny animal, Leon who is Animal Enforcement Officer with Byron Council arrived at the beach and Jaz was able to hand him the little joey.
Joey seen here in Leon’s truck,  on route   to nearby WIRES volunteers Annie and Dave at Suffolk Park where the joey was treated for severe shock.
The joey is a Swamp wallaby, and it is just 7 months old, it is at a stage of development where it would spend considerable time in mums pouch and just starting to hop out to follow her at foot as they forage for food.
But Mum had not been with the joey and she was nowhere to be found.
Earlier that same morning a call to WIRES emergency hotline had been received, this call was for an adult Swamp wallaby seen at the picnic area nearby. The wallaby was observed trying to hop away, but injuries to its back legs were severe and it was falling over as it tried to move.
WIRES volunteers Annie and Dave had responded to the call straight away, but were not able to locate the animal. Putting two and two together, this wallaby was likely the little joeys mum, injured by dogs earlier that the morning, the joey managing to get away whilst mum was being chased.
Repeated visits to the site during that day were fruitless, thick bush nearby is likely where the injured wallaby had found a place to hide. When a native animal is injured it will do its best to hide, it will be silent no matter how much pain it is enduring, and sadly can be impossible to locate.
Byron Bay and surrounding area has wonderful diversity of native wildlife, it is a sensitive environment and it is up to us, residents and visitors alike, to ensure that native wildlife survive into the future. Please be responsible, always ensure your dog is under control including when in an allocated dog exercise area, and remember that native wildlife within these allocated areas have lived there for a very long time and have nowhere else to go.



This little joey has now joined two other Swamp wallaby joeys of similar ages, all are from Byron Shire and in care with Annie and Dave at Suffolk Park. They will be released back to the wild in Suffolk Park in May next year, we hope that they will have the opportunity to help their species survive into the future, but in order for that to happen we need everyone living and visiting Byron Bay to be responsible pet owners, as well as drive with caution from dusk till dawn when these animals are most active.

Pictures by Jasmine Lee, Leon Wark and Annie Crowley