From big to small, we have to house them all. Having a facility that is suited to both the large predatory Powerful Owls down to the cute little Sugar Gliders, they all need the space and security of a controlled environment to rebuild their strength prior to being released. After first spending time in a carers home receiving medical treatment or being hand reared, these animals need to then go to a large aviary to build up strength. For birds, this allows them to learn to fly with precision and endurance and for mammals, the skills for climbing and jumping between branches that will be critical once released.
Quite a few bird species live in groups in the wild. To give them the best chance of surviving once released we need a large enough aviary for them to form these groups. Birds need enough area to fly without damaging their wings. The aviary has been lined with a heavy duty shade cloth on the inside to prevent any feather injurings occuring from the wire mesh.
For mammals, they require a large enough area to be able to jump and climb branches to search for food navigating a habitat that mimics their natural environment.
This all needs to be done without the threat of predators, allowing them to be able to get away from danger and survive when released back into their natural habitat.
By releasing healthy, strong animals we are ensuring the hard work the volunteers have done to save their lives will help the preservation of our unique wildlife in this great city.
Hello again! and thank you to again for your generous support of our project. Work never stops, but winter is a quieter time, and we are now just gearing up for the next bat season.
Last week we moved the first bats back into our the aviary at Kukundi. Over winter, fewer bats come into care, but we do sometimes need to keep them in care longer. This way we avoid releasing animals when there is less food available, and gives them the best chance of success. But, as the weather warms up, we need to put them in an aviary so that they can begin to recover the flight fitness they need to survive in the wild.
One of the bats we kept in this winter was Freya. Freya had become caught in garden netting, and in care she developed a bacterial infection that proved to be resistant to antibiotics. This resistance - confirmed by lab tests- left her carers at a loss to know how to save her. The vet suggested an unusual treatment. Honey. Honey was applied to the affected area, and sure enough- it worked marvelously.
The good news didn't end there. Freya was pregnant, and shortly after the treatment gave birth to a heathy baby boy, Loki. Her carer was able to take this photo just after he was born. It's a unique privelage to see a bat give birth. They have to do upside down (for them- ie the head on top). Surely birth is hard enough, without doing it up a tree suspeded by your thumbs! You can see Loki clinging to his mum in the photo.
Freya and Loki have both done extremely well. But we needed to be sure they are up to the next stage.
A bat in a restricted space isn't really able show whow well it can fly. In the wild, flying foxes really are athletes- they travel up to 50kms per night to forage. Before we release them, we need to be sure that they are flight fit. The first thing we do when bats like Freya come into the aviary is a flight test- its the first real indication we get as to how well they have recovered, and their long term prospects.
Fortunately Freya did just fine. She's taken her first flaps back to towards the wild.
Freedom is even sweeter than honey!
Our handraised macropods ( wallabies and Kangaroos) are growing fast and need to go back to their natural habitat.
This process of hand raising and rehabilitation can be a very long one when carers receive a hairless joey to look after when its mum has died. Joeys in this case can be in care for up to 18 months before release.
Once released it is very hard to tell most wallabies apart so we microchip all our macropods before releasing them back to thier native habitat. We have let our local vets and the road kill committee know about our microchiped macropods so they can check to see if they our handraised ones and contact us with the details.
Luckily so far none of our microchiped macropods have been found dead, which is a great feeling making us think we are doing right with our release techniques.
At one of our company volunteer days we were lucky to have Bayer employees come and help, two were vets and they microchiped a few wallabies while at the facility.
These wallabies still had a while to go in rehabilitation but it was great to get them microchiped and ready to go while they were still happy enough to be handled.
These particular wallabies have now been released and we hope are living happily in the wild.
Thanks to your wonderful donations we are able to continue our good work and give all our different animals that go through the rehabilitation facillity the best chance of surviving once released.