The ‘Taking Care of the Elders’ Program is in the final construction stages and we are now approaching completion of the enclosure. This large ‘retirement village’ is now taking shape and will be ready for its Tasmanian Devil residents soon!
The fencing posts and rail have now been installed and secured to ensure stability. Recycled corrugated iron sheets are being used to form the fences. This roofing iron has been assembled and cut to size; however we will need more iron to fully complete the enclosure. The 24 devil dens are also complete and ready to accommodate the ageing carnivorous marsupials.
Thanks to recent donations, Conservation Volunteers has been able to purchase the essential, but most expensive, materials we needed for the project, these being wire netting and steel mesh. They have now been laid on almost all of the perimeter fence and internal walls of the enclosure; this will ensure no digging devil escapees (nobody can get out - nobody can get in! The Devils are safe from predators).
"Together, the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and Conservation Volunteers Australia have enjoyed a very cohesive working relationship over past years, which has culminated in a number of successful on-ground projects being undertaken and completed. Our latest project, 'Taking Care of The Elders' has provided inspiration and the opportunity for the community to become involved in the wellbeing and future of the Tasmanian Devil”, says Conservation Volunteers’ Regional Coordinator, Amy Bailey.
One of the major reasons for the project’s ongoing success is that the focus of the project has captured the imagination and people, no matter what their skill level, can make a practical contribution towards a really important wildlife issue - with none bearing dearer than the Tasmanian Devil. Volunteers have really embraced the idea of constructing a large ‘Retirement Village’ to humanely house older members of the Tasmanian Devil insurance population - those that are no longer required for breeding purposes, but still need a safe place to live out their lives.
According to Amy, “Volunteering in Wildlife Sanctuaries does provide a unique experience. When projects such as this are created, with real outcomes, with real purpose, there are many people from all walks of life, who wish to share the commitment and responsibility for the preservation of our wildlife into the future and beyond."
Progress is good and the volunteers have made massive contributions of time and effort to get to this stage, but financial assistance is still urgently required to complete the enclosure. We still need to buy materials include roofing iron for the perimeter fence, several thousand roofing screws, and truck loads of mulch to provide a comfortable and low maintenance ground cover for the ‘retirement village’. Our volunteers are ready and committed to help with installation as soon as we can buy what we need.
Thank you for donating so far to help with this really unusual and much-needed project – we hope that you enjoy our update and the pictures of the volunteers using the materials that you have helped supply. Soon we’ll be sharing our next update, and we hope to be able to show you the Devils being transferred into their Retirement Village if we can make enough progress with funds to complete the project! Thank you again for your contribution to conservation.
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Mt Helen, Ballarat,