This is a story from one of Sydney Wildlife's Volunteers, Lynleigh, about one of her most recent rescues.
It started at a Scooter Workshop in Manly Vale on Sydney's Northern Beaches and ended on a construction site beside the Manly Swim Centre.
Sydney Wildlife got an Out of Hours call early in the morning with a report that a wallaby was stuck in some fencing on a busy road. She needed to be sedated and removed from the fencing. I loaded up my equipment and set off. Was it going to be that easy...? I'm sure you know the answer to that question...! Before I arrived on the scene she had managed to wriggle through the fence palings in a panic and was then on the loose on the main roads of Manly Vale Sydney.
Chasing a panicked wallaby through the streets whilst on foot is not easy. She boing-ed into the gardens of some units, then bolted off down a nearby street. It was only a matter of time before she hopped in front of a vehicle... Calls were flooding in to our office about a wallaby jumping haphazardly around the roads of Manly Vale.
I got in my car and tried to track her. A couple of hours had elapsed since the initial call-out so I was getting concerned about her stress levels - especially on such a hot day reaching 34C (93F). As I drove down the road I noticed a gathering of concerned-looking people outside a construction zone. A lovely Warringah Council Ranger was slowing the traffic. The poor wallaby had scrabbled underneath a massive skip bin where she was completely un-reachable. She was panting heavily and was hyper-salivating. The Rangers, the construction gang and I formulated a plan. I darted her with a tranquiliser, then when she was sleepy, the guys fashioned a scoop to push her towards our end of the skip. Wriggling under there for me was not an option, so we got one of the wiry construction guys to leopard crawl under there and grab her tail. Out she came.
After we secured her, the Rangers cooled her down by pouring bottles of water over her and then it was straight to the vet.
I rang ahead to Allambie Vet and they prepped the surgery for our arrival. As I pulled up, their doors flew open and the veterinary staff helped me in with my patient. They rushed her into surgery, recorded her vitals, put her on oxygen and a drip, cooled her down and administered pain relief. We discovered that she had a tiny pinkie joey in her pouch.
After an hour and a half of treatment by the extraordinary staff at Allambie Vet, she was released for transportation to Sydney Wildlife's Rehab Facility at Waratah Park. Our Facilities Manager rushed up there to receive the patient and we helped her to wake up calmly. She was soon relaxing after an immensely stressful day...!
Massive thanks to everyone involved. A few weeks and several house calls later by the wonderful Terry Hills vets, she has now got the OK to be released along with her joey still in her pouch.
A great outcome for what started as a difficult and potentially dangerous rescue.
The wallaby safely secured
Council Rangers happy to assist
Wallaby undergoing vet treatment
Now recovering in rehabilitation facility
On the road to recovery