Rocklily Wombats

news

October 2017

We hope you will love our Our first 2018 rocklily Wombats calendar  as much as we love the animals we have cared for and are pictured in it!  Just $10 and this will be a much needed fundraiser in helping us look after all our wombats and kangaroos in care. Postage in Australia is $3 and international is $8. lots of wombat information, stories of the wombats and jsy a great way to fill your year with wombats!

The last 6 months  have been pretty busy  here at Rocklily with just the 2 of us managing about 36 animals 17 odd still in care and the rest still doing their supported soft release it’s been pretty full on.

Warwick on UK ‘spooky mens Choral UK tour. Yes Waz was away for 6 weeks, s home alone for the worst of winter. With his Parkinsons slowly getting worse his voice is changing, and while he can and was selected for this all expences paid tour (food accomadation and flights) he has to go. Not so easy on me as we had so many injuries and the worst moment as a wildlife carer was Bennys illness.

Injuries and issues. Dealing with so many animals means were dealing with more injuries, these all increase our workload and we have had to bring some animals back into care to treat.

Benny red neck wallaby. Our lovely Benny whom went blind 2 months after he came into care was doing so well after his cateract operation he had full sight in his left eye and his right had improved to 50%. He was loving chasing the wild red neck females when they were around but sight still not quite up to full release with the wild dog problem. Wallabys chew on bones, probably for calcium etc, Benny ended up with a bit of what we think of as bone in his stomach and resulting pancraetitus. . The wonderful Dr Howard Ralph  had given us various med’s to help dissolve it so it would pass thru and of course pain relief. All our injured animals are on pain relief. . This was not to be, late one night where here alone he collapsed in severe pain, so mad that all the med’s I had could not bring it under control, he was in agony, something had gone seriously wrong. In consultation with a friend and wildlife carer vet Kirsty over the phone for a couple of hours I had no choice but to euthanaise him with my fire arm. Horrendous he was a week shy of being in care with us for 3 years and so close to release. Vail Benny

 

Benny at around 2 years old still loved his bag

 

- Frankie got a badly infected foot, I had to laugh, of course warwick was in the UK. this wombat hates me for dragging him out of the house after he broke in, and rolled himself up in our best doona and went to sleep after quite a bit of poo! I tried feeding him a bowl of nuts, with needle of antibiotic in one hand crept close, even managed a gentle pat, the moment I bent to pinch up some skin to get the needle in, I was pushed against the house with a not very happy frankie, lucky I had a blanket for protection. Ok back to the vet, yes sure I’m happy for you to come out and give him a daily injection for 7 days.. Plan put it in some food, and thankfully this worked his infection cleared up and he stopped limping.

Kangaroo injuries. We have had to bring 2 releasing Kangaroo’s back into care. In June dee dee had a large part of her skin and fur ripped on a hind leg. Back in care with pain relief and treatment this took a good 2 months to properly heal. Then just as that was better another releasing kangaroo sliced his pad open somehow a shocking wound, according to vet not stitchable. This is taking some time with daily dressings, pain relief and antibiotics to deal with infection it well be well over 2 months before it’s better and Jo Jo can go back out and restart her release. Her buddy is back in the enclosure as well.  It’s healing nicely but as it is very slow.

Luna Wombat managed to get a gram negative gut infection, possibly from bird poo in the drinking water, how do you keep them away. She’s been 7 weeks now and finally we think getting better, extensive tests by Dr Howard Ralph showing up increased white blood cells she’s getting more injections to treat t a possible tumor some where. Dr Howard wants to avoid intrusive procedures , but that’s were we will have to go if the latest is not working. She’s in the hose, too ill to be out over the cold winter here. and outside in the day when we can.

 

 

Wild Dogs We have had lots of issues with Wild dogs, generally lost piggers dogs crossed with the wild dingo’s from the water catchment. It’s been non stop since christmas, with howling and freaked out wildlife. we have had a number of kangaroo and wallaby deaths, nothing from any of our enclosures thankfully. We had 4 obviously hand raised very humanised kangaroo’s appear 2 years ago, released obviously nearby to us and they and they were not afraid of dogs, Sadly the last 2 have been killed and their joeys within sigh of the house. It’s so so important to raise wildlife to fear their preaditors. We are so over carers saying, ‘but my dog would not hurt anything’ . How is the kangaroo going to know not all dogs are the same. Very sad and very stupid actually. We wont put the gory pictures up. We have been having farmers lose so many lambs to dog attack not for food just for fun, were talking 123 lambs, 109 lambs with just 2 farmers. National Parks have employed a Dog trapper whom uses soft jawed trap’s cameras and he’s caught 18 wild dogs in the area in the last 4 months!! We love dogs and have had dog’s but this is a whole different story. Targeted trapping is so much better than 1080 baites a lingering revolting death of many other species as well, quolls, raptors etc etc. So few countries still use it.

Feb 2017

We now have 14 wombat’s, way to many! As well as releasing the 10 kangaroos, & wallaroo’s and looking after Annie the wallaroo with her fractured spine and Benny  the red neck wallaby slowly getting his sight back . Were flat out with 24bottles, cleaning out wombat box’s, pens and raking up poo. One of us is here all the time as there is so much to do. Dianna has had to reduce her workload as highlands co-ordinator as there just wasnt enough hours in the day and we are unable to take in more wombats, with 2 of our 14 wombats with ‘high needs’.

As a wombat co-ordinator, for the Tablelands  and taking on an additional area of the Highlands for 7 months, with 11 wombats needing release over the summer and so many smaller wombats coming in, it was time to put in writing what Warwick and I have been learning these last years. So ‘raising resiliant ‘ wombats is our thoughts and an added Biolac milk chart. This was presented at a forum in December 2016  There is already available from Wombaroo a feeding chart/booklet.

Resiliant wombats D Bisset Feb 2017 Copyright

A new easy to use guide to assist in treating manged wombats.  See mange section  for the download.

Initial dosage will vary depending on wombats, please contact us with an image of the wombat. You can purchase a mange treatment kit from our online shop for $30 enough for a full treatment for one wombat

 

 

Jeffery (asleep) Elmo resting and Monty, 3 of the 4 crazys!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jess: Little Jessy (Jessy James! OR  fang! ) was rescued by Jess of Taralga, and came to Rocklily at just over 2kg, very scared and very willing to bit anything within  his range! It’s taken nearly 3 weeks to Jess drinking his bottles. Although still nt drinking all he should getting close. And finally not taking bit’s out of me anymore!

Little Jess, so cute now he’s not taking bit’s out of us!

January 2017

Poppette and Jeffery buddies now

Poppette;  Was picked up by Warwick from a vet. A scared little girl, whom took chunk’s from us both trying to feed her, and get her settled. She took only 2 week’s thankfuly and buddied up with Jeffery and the two are now inseperatable.
Jeffery

Poppete has learnt to gently chew, on us, teathing on warwicks finger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Jeffery was rescued from his mum. Ray and Emma, brand new wombat carers, became his carers. However it wasn’t long before he stopped pooing and ended up having to be cared for here as he had been to Dr Howard to try and get things moving. Despite lots of paraffin and enemas he eventually needed a colonoscopy to clear most out and further medications to get things going. It turned out he has a small lesion on a spinal disc right where the nerves are for his bowel. We’re hoping time will heal and things will revert to normal for this cute little fellow.

Love that white claw of Jeffery very unuual. Hes finally pooing well now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2016

Grace; Rescued by Christine in Taralga, after mum was run over. Grace was not very well, we spent the afternoon at Crookwell vet doing what we could under the instuctions of Dr Howard Ralph. Then an all day trip to Dr Howard when he was at his Hayfield clinic.  She was unable to stand for long and waking backwards in circles when she could.  She had a head injury (treated to reduce swelling on the brain) with her middle ear eye socket and collar bone all fractured, as well as being blind ue to swelling. All recoverable. So she was kept pain free  and also on Valium to reduce stress and anxiety.  Feb 2017 Update; It’s been a long road by 8 weeks she’s walking forwards, can see quite well and from the very beginning has just oved her grass.  She’s very scared of the other Little wombats whom we hope to buddy her up with what we know as ‘the crazy’s’ but that will come in time.

Grace waiting for her bottle to warm. Held carefully as yes as all new wombats she bites!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George and luna

Both came into care in April. Both their mums were hit by cars and they will be in care close to 2 years. Erin their rescuer and carer has done a great job getting them to 5kg before handing them on to us. They started in their big wombat box in the nursery room and progressed outside and are now in their new enclosure. They have a choice of 2 burrows or their box, they discuss where to sleep after their lunchtime bottles! They don’t always sleep in their big bag together, often just lie on each other in a pile as wombats do, they are total buddies. Luna has such a pointy nose, she’s a character. They run around like Looney Tunes, and are also growing fast. Such little cuties!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jules and  Pfundalee

Jules arrived in April 2016 at a very skinny 5 kg. He was found by Jules, a very dedicated park ranger, after reports of a foul smell coming from a swimming canyon. After wading and swimming up she found a dead mum and a very thin scared little wombat on a sandbank. He’d probably been there 10 days or more, so he’s a lucky boy. He took some time to settle down, charging and headbutting his box when we opened the lid to feed him, but slow calm persistence saw a calm happy wombat 2 months later. Pfundalee was rescued by a Swiss couple and named ‘small loaf’ in Swiss. Her mum was run over and Kerstin cared for her till she came to buddy up with Jules in August. It took them a bit of time to make friends, but they’re great now and moved up to the big wombatorium in late October (i.e. wombat high school and release from here) and got a new self-feeding water tank. After the renovation between wombats there is now some good grass growing and with all the rain we ended up putting a donated (thanks Nev!) carport up over a burrow and feeding area that just was not deep enough to give a dry place with the amounts of rain we were getting over winter. Really hands-off now and they’re enjoying the big space and now moving on to grow wild for release at the end of summer probably.

Pfundalee meeting Jules, is quite worried. It’s much harder to buddy bigger wombats and although they tolerate each other they are not buddies like some

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoke

Spoke arrived in Feb 2016, and is a example of why WOMBATS ARE NOT PETS!  Spoke, who should be 18-20kg, was only 12kg, but did have a shiny coat! Lucky we had a vet staying at the time of his arrival, and she confirmed the dog smell of his poo was due to what he had been fed, dog biscuits. These are high in vitamin D and can be fatal, they cause calcium build-up in the heart and arteries. We don’t now how Spoke’s heart is.

He was named Spoke as it’s short for bicycle wheel, because he’s been around a few carers who were not his long-term solution. Long claws, no muscles, a very very sad fellow. Very scared with a very good bite on him. Having bitten Warwick’s finger he would just hang on! Now he’s safe in his own dirt floor shed full of straw, (mesh on front) a box and bag, even a burrow and a yard out front to eat. He finally took a bottle and after 6 weeks finally ate cut grass, just digs up grass in the front yard and throws it over his back, and generally behaves like a dog. It’s been a long slow road for this little fellow.

Finally in September (7 months it took!) Spoke started eating growing grass, so we extended his space to half the wombatorium and a second outside burrow. He seems calmer and was really interested, and is systematically trying to dig his way out around the perimeter.

He’s pooing outside his burrow, which is not normal behaviour, it’s normally done hidden well away from the burrow. But at least he’s sleeping outside in it. We’re feeding him with cut grass still rather than relying on him to find his own. He would not last long in the wild at this stage as he’s too small, and not eating enough grass yet.

When he arrived he looked a funny shape, as he’s simply very thin and with nothing much in the way of muscles. But he’s been madly digging, so time will be the great healer. Wombats eat grass, wombats get fat eating grass, wombats are designed to eat grass. Why feed them anything else? Very specifically, pellets made for GRASS eaters and with the right stuff in them for wombats in small quantities is ok. Carrots have way too much sugar and wreck the gut flora, and as for sweet potato, oats, dog food, cat food all that stuff is like living on Red Bull, or cocaine! It completely stuffs them up. They become addicted to that kind of food, and they are hungry because their gut flora has changed and they no longer get nutrition from grass! Also carrots baited with 1080 are dropped from helicopters to kill wild pigs and goats, so no matter where you think your wombat might be released he could end up at the wrong end of a 1080 carrot!

March 2017 update on spoke, after 12 months here and all he can eat he’s only about 16-17 kg he should be so much bigger now, he’s constantly digging but not eating as much grass as he should by a long way. He’s still happy to take your fingers off and we are disscussing how best to release him as he’s quite dangerous.

Wally, Trevor and Ray of sunshine

These guys buddied up straight away as each arrived, sleeping in a pile together in their box.

Wally has come from Erin at around 5 kg who raises our little ones for us to 5kg, he’s well mannered, and totally bonkers, running around smashing into things when he gets excited. We call it ‘fish on a hook’ the way he shakes his head and throws himself around in excitement. We love mad wombats. He’s growing much faster than the others and we think he will be a really big wombat. He has the advantage of only having a few scrapes from the road when mum was killed and no real issues with his health. Ray of sunshine was found in a paddock at around 4.5 kg with his dead mum, she had been shot. He was very very stressed, and a nightmare to feed, it took about 6 weeks before he was drinking and not taking an hour to do so!  He’s still shyer than the other two and his feeding has improved, but if he’s not interested that’s that, absolutely no point in getting him and yourself covered in milk, and stressed in an attempt to feed. He has plenty of grass and water.  Little Trevor has had a hard start to life, his mum was killed on the road and it was some time before he was found, thin, very ill and covered in ticks. He was picked up near Goulburn and taken to Sydney and ended up in care with vet nurse and wildlife carer Mandi and vet Dr Terry, it was touch and go if he would make it. Finally, after lots of care, it was time at around 3 kg to come back to near where he was found and buddy up with some wombats his size. He’s very cuddly. He had a hiccup along the way, getting a raging temperature—the amazing Dr Howard Ralph was able to prescribe what was needed to save his life again. All better now, the 3 Amigos are a team and seem to grow at an alarming rate!

December 2016 they are getting bigger, it will be next summer before they are release size

Benny the red-necked wallaby

Benny was rescued in August 2015 when his mum ran into a grey water tank and died. He was still in her pouch and just furring up. Suddenly on Christmas Eve we noticed he was getting cateracts and in 10 days he was blind, just seeing light and dark. We understand it can be hereditary—and given his mum, from a standing position, turned and ran into a large water tank and killed herself, it seems likely to us. We were able to get a ophthalmic vet who is trying to perfect her surgery on kangaroos to do the cataract operation. It’s taking a while but vision has been slowly returning to one eye. Meantime he’s managing very well following us around for long walks (thongs make a great noise) and he knows his outdoor yard and the area outside this and his 1km walk. We started researching this, apparently it’s more common than we knew and macropods kept in zoos etc. are tested for genes for blindness and not allowed to mate if affected. We will never allow our wildlife to suffer or be stressed. Benny needs to have enough sight to manage in the wild (as per our Licence with NPWS all animals must be releasable) even if it’s just in the immediate area here. He’s still improving and loves his punching bag. He had a little red-necked buddy, Tink, who after 2 months appeared to have a stroke (confirmed by vets) and died it was very sad. Often injuries received when they were orphaned become an issue as they grow.

December 2016

It’s been a mad Spring here, as well as taking over as Wombat co-ordinator for the Southern Highlands as well as the Southern Tableland’s we have had heaps of rain and animals coming in.

 

Jeffery: Had been with Emma and Ray, their first wombat, he stopped pooing and ended up down seeing the wonderful Dr Howard Ralph. He has a small swelling on his spinal disk probably from when mum was hi by the car. It just happens to be right where the nerves are that effect the bowel. So he’s now under my care, in consultation with Dr Howard.

 

Jeffery Feb 2017, cheeky and stealing his bottle!

 

 

 

July & August 2016

We have been very busy, rescuing various animals, and just caring for what we have. We have 3 little wombats in care now Wally , Ray of Sunshine and the latest Trevor. Ray is a dark chocolate wombat, very scared as he was found in a paddock next to his mum whom was shot. Wally and Trevor’s mum’s were hit by car’s and were rescued by some very kind and careing people, Trevor requiring quite a bit of intensive daily vet treatment before coming back to near where he was found (thankyou Terry & Mandi)  Wally has been cared for by Erin till he was big enough to come and join the gang, 3 boys there a handful already. They have moved into their middle school shed, still sleeping in their hanging bags in their big box. Were attempting to teach them to follow us for walks, building them up in strength and learning where the burrows are and all the wonderful smells of the bush.

We have had a couple of rescued Eastern Grey Kangaroo’s, small and lots of work, so they were stabalised here and have gone to some carers who just love getting up in the night for night feed’s, they will be back at around 6kg for the rest of their journey back into the wild.

June 2016

May and early june has been pretty busy, with 11 macropods and 9 wombats in care, 3 with high need’s and very unwell. We got 191mm in 24hr with the big storm a week ago and another 100 ml yesterday, and so now little wombats start coming into care, we have 2 and will see how they go.

 

Tink our wonderful girl died suddenly in early june, blood clot on the brain is the best answer we can get from the symptoms. she’s now in our special garden. Benny misses her so much, as we do.

lovely wild tink

April 2016

 

Jules the wombat. Little Jules (5 kg) was rescued by Jules the Ranger down at a canyon at Wombeyan Caves. His mum had fallen in and died and little Jules had fallen, scrambled down a rocky slope and ended up on a sandbank.  Tourists reported a dead smell over the weekend, and Jules the Head Ranger visited the caves on the following Thursday and took a trip up into the canyon and found him. The water was neck deep and lower than normal, so he was lucky to have a spot to stay. He was very hungry, after a week at least. He’s been very frightened, and covered in hundreds of ticks. It’s taken some weeks for him to get to know us, but he loves his bottles of milk, and is finally starting to eat grass and even let us scratch his tummy and begin to play.

Little Jules, enjoying his bottle and chewing another teat to bits!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snake and goanna season is hopefully nearly over. We had way too many large goannas—a local was trapping them and moving them near us, forgetting we were nearby. So we had an overpopulation. They were trying to get into the little wallaby pen, and another electric fence was needed. They normally eating dead animals but Benny and Tink must have looked rather tasty. We caught three large ones and moved them away to a good location with water and hopefully plenty of food. Two others hanging around proved more tricky. Snakes are a problem as usual—I caught and moved a number of red-bellied black snakes (one very full of babies) and a few brown snakes. Warwick caught his first snake, a young copperhead—deadly of course! We only worry about them around the house and sheds, they bite anything or anyone who accidentally treads on them and they like wombat burrows. Along with wild dogs, snakes are the main enemy of wombats.

A few of our catch and relocations…

 

 

Wiggles is looking great, at 24+ kg he’s being soft released as well. Wiggles came to us at 3 kg, he’s been our postcard boy for a while now and has been with us almost two years. He comes and goes, is not always around, and keeps away from us most times, so he’s becoming more wild. Still a very lovely wombat, very light-coloured fur and very gentle gentleman. He and Tankie seem to like each other and do not seem to have words with each other.  We expect to see less and less of him now.

Wiggles gets some nuts as a treat, sharing with Tankie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry is looking very grown up now at 20 kg. He was rescued at about 500 grams by us, and Julie raised him to around 5 kg for us—that was two years ago. He is in his soft release, he comes and goes from the wombatorium. The wombat door is open and we anticipate he will have found his place in the wild over winter.

Terry’s shy smile, we love that boy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 2016

We finished March with 5 wombats in care, 5 being soft released, 2 little red-necked wallabies, 2 wallaroos and 8 kangaroos. Also in the process of soft release are a swamp wallaby called Dawn, and 3 wallaroos: Red, Legs and Lithgow. We had a rare sighting of Mr Lee the eastern grey, fully released last year. It was lovely to see how much he had grown. We have also just released the last 2 wombats at the supported remote release site, the site has had 3 wombats visiting still, and we anticipate they will all visit over winter from time to time. We will continue with our wildlife cameras here and  elsewhere, keeping an eye on what’s happening, who is around etc. The small dam dried up in the dry spell, so we set up a water station outside the release pen for those coming back for a visit. Warwick underestimated the size some have grown to, and we have since adjusted the hole in the fencing to accommodate this.

 

Cooler days and nights finally … we’re getting some of our released and in the process of releasing wombats, wandering around the house, singing to each other.  We have seen Lilly released last August again, and she has grown so much.

Poppy her buddy always pays a visit if we have visitors of an evening so about every 3 weeks. Both doing well. Wiggles has appeared, he’s our latest postcard boy. He was looking very chewed by Charlie Girl his buddy when he started his release in January but is now looking much better. We think Charlie just chewed his fur, obviously a wombat love thing.  Then there is the men’s shed mob Gentle Terry, Frankie run run away, and Tankie all doing so well. Tankie came in wild around 5 kg and so has become very wild early, you’re lucky if you see him every other week. So the wombatoriums are both busy with comings and goings, and wombats are living under Waz’s shed as well as in assorted burrows around the place.

Some of the night-time choir

Benny the red-necked wallaby gets his operation.

Our little red-necked wallaby Benny has suddenly developed cataracts over Christmas. The good news is he’s having them removed in mid-April. He’s got we think about 20% vision now, he knows his enclosure, and has a buddy called Tink. He cannot be released without full eyesight, and he can’t be kept as a pet either. We think now his wild mum had vision problems as she ran into a watertank and broke her neck here at Rocklily. We have found that blindness in macropods is more common that we realised. And yes, if you feed macropods cow’s milk they do go blind. Being overheated when young causes similar problems. That is why wildlife need to be cared for by trained carers. Benny, like all our wildlife, is only fed a special macropod milk. (Macro = big, pod= foot, by the way!)

If you would like to help us, you can pay $20 towards the cost of Benny’s operation in the wishlist in our shop wishlist.

 

Feb & March 2016

It’s been a busy time,with highs and lows. Dianna has caught and relocated a brown snake near the wallaby pen and a very angry red-bellied black snake from Sarah’s pen next to the house—it was a female ready to give birth to many live young, last seen resting in a small dam some kilometres away from here. We have also had a well-meaning local catch and release 4 or 5 large goannas just 2 km from the house at the top of our road. So yes, these guys have been lots of trouble. So far we have caught and relocated two that were about 1.7 m long and we are still trying to get the two smaller ones. One has been seen trying to climb into the little joey pen. We already had a few, there are now way too many and they are getting very game in getting food.

We lost Danielle and her joey, our helpers heard lots of noise outside their window, we now think goannas were hunting her. She did not stand a chance. We looked for many days for her little joey but did not find it.

Left: Charlotte tells Winney Wallaroo to behave, as she decides to pounce on Sarah
Right: Lucas feeding Joy. Lucas and Charlotte were here close to 7 weeks over summer and have done some amazing work for us.

We also lost Joy, a lovely little 6 kg eastern grey. She had a twisted bowel,  and sadly was not able to be saved.

We now have 13 macropods in the release pen: 2 female wallaroos, 3 male wallaroos and the rest eastern greys. They sure drink lots of milk, and we do lots of sweeping twice a day to clean up all the poos.

Kangaroo capers. It’s actually the male wallaroos that are the naughty ones, jumping on others to get their bottles as well. Feeding time in the palace, although there is heaps of grass in the main enclosure.

As for wombats, we have the three little ones now weighing around 9kg. Jasper, June and Kodiak and Sarah are all buddied up. Charlie and Wiggles have been/are being soft released. Wiggles has been ganging up with the three other boys, Terry, Frankie and Tankie in the middle school, Warwick’s shed and a few burrows around the place. Frankie comes for his evening snack at the back door, making himself known with loud wombat shouting.

 

Poppy  only visits when we have new helpers here, she’s very tolerant of Frankie and just ignores him and his screams.

 

Benny the red-necked wallaby has a little buddy now called Tinkerbell, very sweet. Benny developed cataracts in just a week over Christmas. He has some sight and it looks like we can get an eye operation for him soon to restore his sight. So looking forward to this. It is probably genetic, and explains why his mum ran into the watertank and broke her neck. Zoos test the genetics of breeding stock to ensure those with the genes for this do not mate. Benny will have to be 100% to be released when he’s fully grown.

 

 

January 2016

Clever John’s mange treatment & roadkill signs. John, another member of Wildlife Rescue South Coast who lives in the Southern Highlands has been getting the locals on side with a few simple signs. Check it all out in our mange treatment section!

I leave the figure with the body for a few days, then remove the body, then the figure a few days later. Makes for think-remember.

 

Terry and Frankie started their soft release. Both of them, at around 18 kg, have been making it their daily mission to dig out of their enclosure. Tunnelling under and collapsing paving, managing to dig down and under the roller doors buried a metre deep. Refilling their efforts with large rocks did not deter them. Walks were becoming a problem, when they would simply just run away to a burrow. So we opened their wombat door so they come and go, and they are living in a variety of burrows around their pen, plus digging new ones. Both seem calmer and happier.

A very rare sighting of Terry, who obliges Lucas with a back massage and nibble, then shows off his new circus skills

Benny the red-necked wallaby got cataracts and went blind in just over a week this Christmas.  We understand it can be hereditary and given his mum from a standing position turned and ran into a large watertank, killing herself, that is realistic. We are exploring what the options and outcomes are for surgery at the moment. Meantime he’s managing very well, following us around for long walks (thongs make a great noise) and he knows his small outdoor yard and immediate area already within a few days of going totally blind. In researching this it’s more common than we knew and macropods kept in zoos etc. are tested for genes for blindness and not allowed to mate. We will never allow our wildlife to suffer or be stressed. Benny needs to have enough sight to manage in the wild, (as per our licence with NPWS all animals must be releasable) even if it’s just in the immediate area here.

Benny listening intently. Insert: cataracts start Xmas Eve 2015

 

Dec 2015.

A big thank you to all our helpers this last year or so…

So you came to Rocklily, fed, cleaned up poo, weeded, built, cleaned up poo, dug graves, picked grass, washed neverending bottles, picked grass, raked up poo, weeded, removed fencing, and hopefully had a good time… thank you to all who came and helped us care for our four-legged hairy critters! We could not have done it without you! It’s not always just cute and cuddly!

Neville & Dawn, Julie & Steve, Phil, Ann, Drew, Ben, Alex & Kevin, Ruth, Clair, Chris, Krystal, Julie & Tom, Illaria, Fenney, Russ & Mark, Coco & Max, Richard, Julian, Lucas & Charlotte

We get our helpers thru HelpX online. We are booked until May 2016. It’s normally a 1 month stay here. We will also take PhD students anytime on approved studies with macropods and wombats and release issues. We are interested in small groups for the weekend doing things like fence removal, bushfire clearing and weed removal.

Something different for Xmas.

Most of the people who do the hard work here learn the wombat dance. We walk the wombats daily; there is a 1km loop and shorter walks. People need to be fit and know the area, including water, burrows and other wombats to help them manage in the wild. Charlotte and Lucas demonstrate, then a rest for Tankie, with the wondrous odour of Lucas’s feet!

 

Sometimes the humans need a rest on the walk, so Sarah just chills 

Wombat/Human pinball: You’re out walking the cute little wombats, when just one wombat gets a certain look in his eye, and suddenly they all run away in different directions—the more you chase the faster they get! They can do 40 km/hr when they are adults. Down the hill, into a burrow, out again between your legs, into a shed, under a car or a bush. anywhere. Leaping in excitement, all good fun it seems! They are so solid—if you grab them they slip straight out of your hands with no effort and keep going. Your only chance is to give up and go and wait back at the pen. Then, as they grow older, at 3am you wake to three screaming wombats outside the bedroom window and realise that one of them is out there when he should not be. He’s dug down and under a metal fence burried 1 metre deep into the ground in his efforts to join the other two, who are soft releasing and not really interested in having a little one tagging along. It’s not easy identifying who is who in the dark, let alone catching the correct one and putting him back (yes Tankie, I’m talking about you!) and then securing the pen again. Three nights in a row isn’t so funny!

 

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Drop Bear, Wombat or Koala hats $24 each, baby to XL adult 100% wool.

Not everyone is the same, and our wildlife hats are all individual, helping those who dare to become extraordinary.

This hat will make you and others smile and also keep your noggin warm!

They are lovingly designed and crocheted by Wombat grandmum Kathie, each taking about 5 hours to make. And if you must you can use it to keep a small teapot warm.

Wombat, Vombatus ursinus: Large with coarse hair and eats grass. Lives underground, has a backwards-facing pouch for its young. Has claws, short legs and can run at 40km/hr for short distances. Very cute and playful when young. Makes a bad pet as tunnelling under the house can be a problem.

Koala, Phascolarctos cinereus: Large tree climber, related to wombat. Pouch for young, soft fur, fluffy ears, very cute, eats gum leaves and has a scream-like call at night similar to drop bear. Bites and scratches if you’re mistaken for a tree. Becoming extinct like wombats due to loss of habitat.

Drop Bear, Thylarctos plummetus: Related to koala and wombat. Large tree climber with a pouch for its young. Tends to drop on its prey from great heights. Can also run at great speed. Eats whatever it can find. Stay safe, stay alive in the bush: always look up when in the bush at night. Endangered.

 

 

Dianna & Warwick spend their days & nights rescuing, rehabilitating and soft-releasing Australian wildlife at Rocklily, nestled beside the Blue Mountains National Park, near Wombeyan Caves NSW. We specialise in wombats, plus kangaroos, wallaroos and wallabies. We come across the occasional drop bear, but  these require extra special handling and are not for the fainthearted.

Currently in care: 2 wombats in the soft release pen, plus our 9 wombats in care and 7 macropods in care. A full house it feels like.

A pile of wombats: June on top of the boys, Jasper and Kodiak, as it should be!

 

Chubby and Chester now make 12 wombats soft released by us at a local friend’s property in 18 months. We have 3 cameras monitoring the pen as well as the local dam and burrow so we know what’s happening. It’s on the end of a long ridge with 2 creeks either side, with water even in the last drought. The area is also being walked by the owners to check for wombat activity in assessing the number released, and they appear to be spreading out. Previous farmers hunted out the wombats as many did, so we know that there is plenty of area for them. Releasing can take months. We feed daily for the first 2 weeks then each couple of weeks reduce the feeding to every other day etc. Eventually we just check the cameras, with fresh grass we go and cut for 2 weeks, until they dig out. They still have their own safe burrow to retreat to while they check out the area and start their wild lives.

Chubby and Chester, destroying the hay bales!

Great Christmas gifts if you are interested in bats, possums, kangaroos or wombats: here are a few ads you can share with friends or on Facebook. We have something for most Australian wildlife including numbats, quolls, quokkas and more. All sales fund our wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release and is our ONLY funding. P.S. Spend over $30 and mention you saw this ad and get a free cookie cutter. :-)

Just some of our great gift range, shipping all around the world!

Check out rocklilywombats on Facebook for the latest updates

2016 Wombat Calendar NOW AVAILABLE $10 plus postage

November 2015 time has flown this year, and we have been very busy with the wildlife. We have had lots of new arrivals as well as wombats Cubby and Chester now down in the soft release pen at Grandillia a few kilometres away.

 

October 25th 2015 Danielle the hand-raised red-necked wallaby (who we soft-released late last summer here) has twins! This is the first photo and we will start a special page for her so you can follow how it’s going.  She has a few bits of fur missing lately, probably from a barbed wire fence, we still have about 1 kilometre to remove here and other properties also have it.

First photo of Danielle’s twins.

 

September 2015

Welcome to a number of bundles of macropod joy, Lithgow wallaroo being one.

Lithgow wallaroo coming into our macropod soft release program, here for 18 months

August 2015 

 

 

Wiggles loves dirt with his sweet potato, Charlie in the background. Both now in the big wombatorium.

Poppy has come back to visit! Dianna’s evening walks after dark are so much more enjoyable now, as some nights Poppy (released over 2 months ago) will follow around chatting in her wombat way, then quietly disappearing. Sometimes she lucks out and gets a few roo nuts. It’s lovely to see her wild. We have had visits from Lilly about 6 times since released so we know both are doing well.

Shy Poppy gets a treat on one of her visits.

Bruce the eastern grey. Sadly we can’t save everything… little Bruce appeared at Rocklily weak and thin. He had pink dye on his tummy fur so we think about 3 weeks ago he had been sprayed when someone was spot-spraying weeds. The quantity of spray was too much for him. We hope it wasn’t deliberate, he could have travelled many kilometres before getting to Rocklily. We have had a few lately and it’s at least 10km to the nearest spray site. We have been notifying locals to take care.

Bruce … rest in peace buddy, we tried

Tank wombat.  A buddy for Sarah has arrived, he’s a very scared, wild wombat. It’s taking a bit of time to get him to feed from his bottle and not get bitten too much. Time and lots of gentle treatment will help him cope and settle in to Rocklily. He’s the same weight as Sarah, but rounder and shorter.

July 2015

Winter has been cold. The grass around the house is very short and appears not to be very satisfying to hungry mums. All the wild eastern grey and red-necked wallaby mums are hanging around for safety. So we’re giving them some meadow hay and making sure we rake up all the poos. Worm eggs hatch in poo after about 10 days so by raking it up and adding to compost we are ensuring we are not creating problems with excessive worm burdens for them. All animals need some worms in their guts, especially macropods.

 

 

A still winter’s morning at Rolling Tank Dam.

One of our many wildlife cameras spotted who is eating the animals we were unable to save from the local roads.

Mr Fox spreading mange—he belongs in England, not here. One of the wedge-tailed eagle family from the nest on the hill, lovely to see.

 

June 2015 It’s officially winter, with clear weather and new animals arriving. Rocklily got a massive dump of snow, we have never had so much. Winnie the wallaroo is very cross, she hates the snow and jumps around everywhere barking crossly, it’s very funny. Everyone gets extra meadow hay, including all the wild kangaroo and wallaby mums. We love watching the wombats’ reactions: Terry loved the snow and ate it, a photo from our cameras shows the wild wombats also eating it, whereas Abby is not so sure she wants to walk on it. The snow hung around for days, slowly melting and making the ground a soaking mess.

Winnie hopping high, Terry nibbles snow and the wild mums enjoy some meadow hay.

Trees were pulled apart by the weight of the snow, with large limbs breaking off and then falling over, blocking roads and creating mayhem.

Wild wombat eating snow, and Abby feeling not so sure. Wallaby footprints.

Sarah wombat at only 3kg arrives. Her Mum sadly was another victim on our local roads. Sarah is a very soft and gentle wombat, loves her bottle and a cuddle.

 

Softly wombat has been sighted… we saw her last night and this evening she pinched an empty feeding bottle and teat! So I guess she was hand-raised! Lovely to see her so fat. We got Softly in November 2014, near death from dehydration as she had been dumped at the Wombeyan caves, where unfortunately the creek has been dry for many years due to the new bore .

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