WIRES recieved a call late one evening a small joey was in need of
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.
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
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.
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.