Rehabilitate Wallabies & Other Native Wildlife

by Sydney Wildlife Vetted since 2013 Top Ranked Site Visit Verified
Topsy Turvy, Photo by Peter Sharp.
Topsy Turvy, Photo by Peter Sharp.

We have recently had a beautiful Boobook owl come into care with Sydney wildlife.  The Boobook owl is the smallest and most common owl in Australia.

 His story started at a school where he was found early in the morning on the ground being bullied by other local bird species.  He was taken to the local vet who then contacted Sydney Wildlife to organise a Carer to come and collect him to nurse him back to health and monitor his rehabilitation.

It became quickly apparent that he was very ill and at stages could not even stand up.  He required intensive care and needed to be force fed to ensure he was getting the nutrients required to rehabilitate. Gradually he began to gain strength, put on weight and be able to feed by himself.

What was still puzzling was that, at first, he would always hold his head low and completely upside down. (see photo)  After 2 months of regular physiotherapy he started to hold his head higher and it was also turning around so it was now the right way up.

After 3 months, he was moved to our rehabilitation facility as we thought the stimulation of being in a more natural environment would make him use his neck more.  A bit of self-Physio.

 After only a couple of weeks in the rehabilitation facility, and I think you will agree from the photos, there has been significant improvement in his condition.

 We still do not know at this stage if his recovery will be enough for him to be released but he is eating well and continuing to improve. His recovery may take months yet as vets feel there is muscle or tendon damage which takes a long time to treat.

 Owls are quite big eaters.  He eats 1 mouse and 1 chicken neck a day as well as the insects he catches in his enclosure.  As the mouse and chicken necks are not available naturally while he is in rehabilitation, these are purchased frozen and provided to the owl by our volunteers.  Your wonderful donations are helping to keep our Boobook and other animals fed and alive.

 For this we thank you so very much.

Neck in a better position
Neck in a better position
Starting to exercise wings
Starting to exercise wings
You have helped Spike the Echidna
You have helped Spike the Echidna

To celebrate 5 years of the "Rehabilitating Wallabies and Other Native Wildlife" project, we thought we would share with you how far we have come since the beginning.  We really wouldn’t be able to do what we do without your generosity.

Since we began back in April 2013, we have received a whopping 333 donations totaling $17,009.  We can't thank you all enough as even the smallest donations help.

As the donations came in, it enabled us to purchase building materials and, over time, expand the number of enclosures in the facility allowing us to take in more animals for rehabilitation.  We started off the facility with one rehabilitation area for macropods, which has now doubled in size and includes a padded quarantine room and a small-enclosed area for injured animals needing daily treatment making it easier to handle them.  Over the last 5 years, we have built an additional 8 enclosures allowing us to take in larger quantities and varieties of species.  

By having the variety of different enclosures now, we are able to offer around 25 animals a month the chance to spend time in the facility, to build up their strength, recover from their injuries and return to the wild fit and healthy to continue living the life they were before being injured and needing our help.  As a true testament to the success of the facility, none of the animals we have microchipped prior to release have returned into care due to not coping in the wild. 

Not only have we been able to build the enclosures but you have made it possible to buy food and formulas required and pay vet bills when needed. 

In the next 5 years we hope to continue to improve on our successes and make our facility an even better one for our precious wildlife. 

Design and Build
Design and Build
Enclosure finished and in use
Enclosure finished and in use
Swamp wallabies enjoying their browse
Swamp wallabies enjoying their browse
Is part of an old aviary in the weeds?
Is part of an old aviary in the weeds?
Found, fixed and now replanting.
Found, fixed and now replanting.
Support feeding Rainbow Lorikeets
Support feeding Rainbow Lorikeets

This summer has seen record numbers of animals go through our rehabilitation facility as it has been one of the driest summers in a very long time.

The wallabies seem to be particularly affected and are getting themselves into a bit of trouble venturing into areas they normally wouldn't trying to find food.

One such wallaby "Abby" came in to our care when she was found in a suburban backyard with a neck wound. After darting and capturing her, the vet examined the wound and it appears that she may have damaged her neck trying to put her head through a fence to get to the nicely watered grass and plants on the other side.

After her examination by the vet, Abby required surgery and was then placed into our quarantine area at the rehabilitation facility so we could continue to treat and monitor her and ensure she was eating well. One month on, she had fully recovered from her injury and was able to be released back to her natural habitat. Your donations towards the rehabilitation facility have made this possible.

We have also seen the effect of the dry summer on the many of our other native animals. For the fruit and nectar eating birds there isn't a lot of blossoms or berries available, for the carnivore birds, there are fewer insects and prey. Even the bandicoots are finding it harder to dig for insects, as the ground is soo compact and hard due to the lack of rain.

We have had to supplement and support feed all of the animals in our rehabilitation facility to make sure they have sufficient strength to continue to build their strength and prepare for release. This comes at a significant cost to Sydney Wildlife. This has resulted in some animals requiring a longer stay at the facility until the food supply in their natural habit has improved.

Your ongoing donations help us to continue to provide the best possible support for these animals in their journey back to the wild.

Abby after being released.
Abby after being released.
Tawny dinner at 10pm still 40 degrees C
Tawny dinner at 10pm still 40 degrees C
Birds eating supplimentary food
Birds eating supplimentary food
Darted Eastern Grey Kangaroo
Darted Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Since opening the rehabilitation facility years ago, we have certainly had a variety of animals come through.  We wanted to share with you a couple of unique stories of visitors we have had to the facility in the last few months.

We received a call to the Sydney Wildlife hotline about a large eastern grey kangaroo that was in a suburban backyard.  The member of the public said that it always appeared at 7:30am each day so suggested that was a good time for us to try to catch this poor kangaroo to relocate to a more suitable area.  Early the next morning, two Sydney Wildlife volunteers arrived at the location to be ready for the kangaroos visit.  As it is a wild kangaroo, it was decided the safest way of capturing it was to use a dart gun to reduce the stress on the animal as well as ensure we were able to catch it quickly.

As expected, at 7:30 the kangaroo appeared and one of our experienced macropod carers was able to dart her on the first attempt.  Once the drugs took effect and she was sedated, we were able to put her in a large macropod bag and transport her to the rehabilitation facility allowing her to wake up in safety and we could assess her condition and behaviour. 

After a few days of observation to ensure she was feeding correctly, was in good health and not showing any signs of odd behaviour she was able to be released into the company of a wild mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos.

Our facilities have proven to be excellent for some species in their rehabilitation phase to the point where they never want to leave.

One bandicoot in the large aviary was unable to be found when we were trying to catch her for release. After two attempts of a few people each time trying to find the bandicoot with no luck, we were puzzled.  We knew she was in there as the food was being eaten and there were small freshly dug holes around the floor of the enclosure from her searching for and eating insects. We decided to put a camera in the aviary to make sure that it was in fact the bandicoot eating the food.

The cameras showed after just one night that it was in fact a very healthy bandicoot.

Now more determined than ever to catch the bandicoot three Sydney Wildlife volunteers spent well over half an hour tryng to find the bandicoot and just when we were about to give up one of the volunteers disturbed her out of a very well camouflaged nest.

Being able to provide such a natural enclosure enabled the bandicoot to exhibit its survival techniques which resulted in her being able to evade captured for soo long even though we knew it was there.

This is a testament to how your ongoing support and generosity allows us to provide these animals with such a good foundation for a successful release. 

Resident Roo watching the visitor wake up
Resident Roo watching the visitor wake up
Exploring the rehab facility
Exploring the rehab facility
Elusive bandicoot found on camera
Elusive bandicoot found on camera
Look at me now
Look at me now

Remember our report back in November last year on The Wombat Warrior?

After all the battles Mulan won when only a little joey, she has continued to thrive and has now begun her rehab phase in the Sydney Wildlife Rehabilitation facility.

Rehab for some animals has many stages as they are in rehab for quite a long time. Mulan first started in a small secure enclosure that she was unable to escape from and also included plenty of artificial shelter and protection from the elements. In this enclosure Mulan started off living in the pouch she had been sleeping in at her carers house and over time, started to dig burrows and rely on the safety of the pouch less and less and the burrow more.

Once completely independent of the pouch, the next phase for Mulan was a larger enclosure with no artificial sheltering except to protect any supplementary food from the elements.

Before this could happen, the large enclosure needed to be completely cleaned out as it was full of weeds, abandoned fencing, carpeting, old shelters and plenty of rubbish. For such a large transformation, we needed to ensure we had the right tools and plenty of resources to complete the task at hand. So immense was this task, it took place over several working bees and lots of people power to get the enclosure ready for the next phase of Mulan's rehabilitation.

To provide plenty of natural food for Mulan to eat, we needed to purchase and lay turf on a portion of the enclosure and allow it to grow prior to her taking up residence. This would ensure the grass was established enough and continued to provide natural food for her.

About an hour after moving in to her new enclosure she showed us how ready she was by starting to dig a burrow into one of the large dirt mounds. She has now dug 3 burrows throughout the enclosure to suit her needs. She can sometimes be seen basking in the sun amongst the bushes at the entrance of one of her burrows.

She has adapted really well to this phase of her rehabilitation. She is now rarely seen out during the day and if she is out and gets a fright, she retreats straight back to her burrow to hide.

Mulan now weights a whopping 12kgs and will remain in care until she reaches around 20kgs.  

Mulan would like to thank you for your ongoing donations as without them, she would not have such a interactive enclosure enabling her to learn all the natural behaviours she needs to master before returning to the wild.

Before photo of Mulan
Before photo of Mulan's large enclosure
Clearing out the rubbish
Clearing out the rubbish
Let the weeding begin
Let the weeding begin
Spot the wombat
Spot the wombat
 

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Organization Information

Sydney Wildlife

Location: Sydney, NSW - Australia
Website: http:/​/​www.sydneywildlife.org.au
Project Leader:
Joan Reid
Lindfield, NSW Australia

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