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Red- Legged Pademelon in care

By Sue Ulyatt

18th March 2005

WIRES recieved a call late one evening a small joey was in need of care. His mother had been killed by a dog, the joey seemed unharmed. It turned out to be a Red leg Pademelon, now listed as a vulnerable species due to habitat destruction and dog and fox predation.

The little orphan is so far doing well, it will however be some time before the joey settles down. I have found that when ever there is a situation such as this, where domestic dogs are involved, and foxes for that matter, the time involved for the joey to settle is much longer than a car accident for instance.

I imagine it is due to the stress involved, transferred from the mother to the orphan.

If you ever have to rescue a joey from the pouch of a dead mother, always pick up the joey as in picture above, never pull by any limbs, place joey is pillowcase, jumper etc, with whole body covered including face.( What I can't see wont hurt me)

UPDATE 28th May 2005

Pademelon seen here after 2 months in care, now interacting with other wallabies in care.
He will be released back where he came from in time on a safe property where this specie is seen regularly.

It is up to each of us when moving on to properties where native animals have lived for generations to ensure they will survive long term. Please keep dogs and cats inside at night when native wildlife is most active.

UPDATE August 2005

The Pademelon did extremely well in care, Normally we would soft release an animal such as this, which means they are taken to a large enclosure of 1 acre, they are given time to adapt to life in the wild before making that final step of freedom.

In the case of this Red leg Pademelon we were unable to do this, as this specie is now so rare it is found only in pockets of rain forest, he was taken back to where he was originally found, although not on the same property, in close proximity we located a safe property where the owners were happy to keep an eye on his progress. They regularly watch this specie feeding on their lawn at night.

This Pademelon has been reared with as little human interaction as possible , in the hope that he will adapt to life in the wild without the procedures we would normally undertake before release.
When I took him back to the rain forest he had come from, it was not without trepidation as to how he would react.

I need not have worried, as I opened the bag he was in, he put his head out, sniffing he air, then slowly ventured out on his own. He stood for a short time looking around, and without looking back he hopped slowly away from me, totally at ease. We watched as he made his way in to the the forest, slow movements, telling me he was not stressed, but quite at ease.

It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to care for this animal.

Updated March 2021  

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