Friday, 4 January 2013

Recent Wildlife Vic encounters.

This is Spud. Aradhna and I had the pleasure of his company upon delivering two ringtail joeys to Sue and Frank's place in Macleod. He's still being bottle-fed twice a day -- the work VOLUNTEER animal carers do is beyond belief -- and will eventually go to a carer with appropriate outdoor space before being released. He's a healthy bugger. The furniture in Frank and Sue's house, banged mercilessly by Spud's noggin, can testify to that.

These three Chestnut Teal ducklings were found orphaned in a backyard in Dingley Village, one of Melbourne's many nondescript suburbs. A woman and her grandson trapped them beneath wire cage -- the woman said she'd spotted mama duck flying overhead, which seemed odd -- but a walk around the neighborhood revealed no other ducks and no water source. Who knows how or why they ended up where they did. I delivered them to the animal sanctuary/rehab centre of Michelle Thomas in Frankston.

This koala was on an IV drip in Michelle's dining room. He'd been hit twice on a roadway and left to die. Remarkably, this wasn't the first time he'd survived being run over by one or more vehicles. His prognosis wasn't good.

This guy peacefully sat beside the koala. Never moved, never peeped. He kept a silent vigil. I thought he was a juvenile kingfisher variety of frogmouth but Michelle said it was a crake or rail, once common but now rarely seen in Melbourne's suburbs.

A sunny deck overlooks Michelle's backyard and on it were a dozen or so flying foxes hanging from laundry racks. They were all near death when they got to Michelle's. Not so anymore.

Michelle and her husband have been raising these two wombats since they were 'pinkies', still in their (deceased) mama's pouch. To watch them scoot around their enclosure -- complete with a burrow that extends 10 yards under Michelle's backyard -- is to witness pure animal joy. They're nearly big enough to be released, though they'll have to learn to survive in the wild first. And hope some farmer doesn't blow them away with a shotgun.

The male is the darker of the two. While playing the female held the upper hand. Sounds familiar ...........

More Pacific Blacks, but not newborn ducklings. (Note the poor guy at the bottom of the pile). These had been kept and fed in the backyard of a multi-million dollar home in Brighton East, one of Melbourne's most exclusive suburbs, for three weeks. The resident's heart was in the right place but allowing them to mature in her backyard before calling Wildlife Victoria made their capture more difficult and, in the process, more stressful for the animals. I gathered them as calmly and quickly as I could and brought them to a carer named Jan's residence in Melbourne's bland eastern suburbs. From the front of her and her husband's home all seems ordinary but venturing into their backyard reveals half a dozen professionally built pens (he's a builder) stocked with ducks, possums, parrots, and whatever else needs caring. During my first visit to their place I helped transfer an injured echidna into a heated, wooden box.

Jan wasn't home so I happily transferred the ducklings from my large plastic box to a heated pen. Jan will look after them as they mature and transfer them to one of her larger pens -- which includes a miniature pond -- when appropriate. After that, it's back into the wild.

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