Warwick & Dianna Bisset belong to Wildlife Rescue South Coast in NSW Australia. we hold our animal rescue rehabilitation and release License thru them. If your interested in careing for wildlife contact your local group. There is generally more than one group operating in any area. if you can not find your group, drop us an email and we will help find it.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s been a pretty busy year so far, with 10 wombats and 16 macropods, removal of 3 huge goanna’s 3 brown snakes and 2 Red belly Black’s. Release of 2 wombats at the remote supported release pen. We have also had the sad death of Joy the 6kg Eastern Grey with a twisted bowel, that broke and was expeled. 2 other Eastern grey joey’s came, but they were so compromised with worms and the damage such a heavy burden did to their Bowel were also not savable. In the wild we understand only 17% of macropods survive to adulthood. So high’s and Lows, were very sad and we do cry many tear’s for those we cannot save.
Milo the eastern Grey kangaroo and Joy’s buddy is doing really well he has bonded nicely with the 6 new Eastern Greys and Sadie making a great little mob that we will start to let out on day release over winter as they get bigger.
March 2016 Cooler days and nights finally and were 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 post card 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 Gentel 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, lucky if you see him every other week. So the wombatorums are both busy with comings and goings and their living under waz shed as well as in assorted burrows around the place.
2nd Januay sees Dianna finally catch and relocate a large eastern Brown snake
that’s been seen around the last number of weeks.
Charlotte has been singing to our wombats and taught them this song.
Benny the red neck wallaby gets cateracts and goes blind in just over a week this xmas. We understand it can be heridity and Given his mum from a standing position turned and ran into a large water tank killing herself that is realistic. We are exploring what the options and outcomes are for surgey at the moment. Meantime he’s managing very will following us around for long walks (thongs make a great noise) and 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 Macroppds kept in zoo’s etc and 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 Liscence with NPWS all animals must be releasable) even if it’s just in the immediate area here.
Terry and Frankie started their soft release. Both at around 17 kgs have been making it their daily mission to dig out of their enclosure. Tunneling under and collapsing paving, managing to dig down and under the roller doors burried a meter deep. Refilling efforts with large rocks did not deter. Walks becoming a problem, when they simply just run away to a burrow. So we opened their wombat door so they come and go, living in a variety of burrows around their pen, plus digging new ones. Both seem calmer and happier
December 2015. Another few busy months have flown by. No time for markets, too many animals, and it’s great having helpers to get those extra job done, weeding, picking up poo, cutting grass, trying to snakeproof enclosures, washing milk bottles and bowls, etc etc
We have 2 wombats in the Grandilla soft release pen. 9 wombats in care and 7 macropods.
Chubby and Chester now make 12 wombats soft released by us at a local friends property in 18 months. We have 3 cameras monitoring the pen as well as local dam and burrow so we know whats happening. Its 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 wombat activity in assessing numbers 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, feeding daily for the first 2 weeks then each couple of weeks reducing the feeding to every other day etc, then eventually just checking the camera’s with fresh grass we go and cut for 2 weeks until they dig out and they still have their own safe burrow to retreat to while they check out the area and start their wild Lives.
3 x little wombats at 6 kg June, Kodiak, and Jasper
2 Bigger wombats at around 12 kg Sarah and Tankie
2 Even bigger wombats 17 kg Frankie and Terry
2 in release pen 19kg Wiggles and Charlie Girl.
Little Benny Red neck Wallaby
2 swamp wallabys, Dawn and wilder
2 Eastern Greys Missy and Sadie
2 Wallaroo’s Leggs and Lithgow.
October 2015 It’s been a busy few months here. In August we have had 5 new macropods (Means big foot) in 3 Eastern Grey Kangaroo’s Warra, Sadie, Dannie and a male wallaroo Leggsie and female Lithgow. Winnie the wallaroo is now fully realeased along with Mr Lee in September we see them most evenings still grazing with the wild mob of Eastern grey’s and red necked Wallabies. We have spotted Bob the swampy released last spring on a camera a couple of times, he is distintive with part f his white tip on his tail missing. Over winter we released a couple more wombats from the soft release pen a Grandilla a 4×4 drive down the back. We have had a few week’s away and had Nev & his lovely wife Dawn ‘house sit’ for us. They stayed a month and looked after everyone beautifully.
Abby and Rebel 2 wombats we were minding for just a few months for a carer who was having both knees replaced turned into 7 months have now moved on to eventually be released. We did not have room to keep them, and miss them. We know our limits with the wombats and doing the macropods (about 10 booked in for spring) plus the soft release pen see’s us more than busy.
We have a 4 stage facility with max of 2 wombats in each. When little up to 3kg they are housed in heated baskets then graduate to a small box with time outside to graze, and play. Then we have ‘little school’ 3kg to 8kg infront of the house a fenced area with a burrow , trees , shrubs and a dry veranda to put their large box’s that stay with them into the next stage. ‘middle School’ 9 to 15 kg has 2 shed’s where we put their box’s. One shed has a with a burrow and attached to a fenced wombatorium attached with 2 burrows and if needed can be divided in 2. This is not far from the house so we can hear whats going on. The shed’s can be used for sick adults. Then the final ‘big school’ 15 to 25kg , no box’s here, just a number of burrows. It’s on the hill up behind the house. They all continue their walks untill release, except if they keep deciding to run away, and hide in a burrow. They tend to come back, a bit worse for wear, but given it can take many hours each night seaching for them we reconsider their walk’s!. It’s hard to have the wombats at the right agaes and sizes to progress, there with us 2 years if they come in at about 3 kgs and we soft release a pair each 12 months or so. So far we have only released 4 wombats in the area of the house ( 8 released from the soft release Pen) and we have just Poppy coming back every now and then. So they do move off.
June 2015 We seem to have a full house in the wombat department. 9 in care ranging from 1.6kg little Sarah, terry and frankie at 9kg then charlie and Wiggles at 12 kg then Abby an Rebel at around 15 kg and then lilly at 25kg and poppy at 18 kg the final 2 in the final stages of soft release. Then the last 2 of the macropods Mr Lee the eastern grey kangaroo and winne the female wallaroo also on final stages of soft release. Then we have to sort a large list of wallaroo’s and easten greys to sort how we can acomadate them from 2kg thru to about 9kg coming when Winnie and Mr Lee finally stop returning for the night.
Latest Arrivals are Terry and Frankie both around 9kg, neither have met before and let their thoughts be known. Wombats do not have particularly good eyesight and when they do wander close to the dividing fence, it’s lots of screaming at each other and bolt to their box or burrow! It will take a few weeks and they will be sleeping in the same box together, giving each other company and support. We will need to spend less time with them so giving them a chance to become less humanised and really wild.
December 2014 Busy again, when is it not! The month of storms. 3 nights of hail, one thunder and lightening that was very slow moving so we recorded 4 strikes here, setting fire to a pine tree trunk in the pouring rain, and lighting up our fencing very nicely!
So we have put a suspended hail/ sun net over the palace shed to reduce noise, even though roof is insulated!
Just got the latest 4 additions to our macropod mob 2 female wallaroo’s Winny & Cracker and 2 eastern Greys Lee (male) and Ginnie all about 9kg. so feed time with 6 hungry mouths is interesting. 2 bottles while they settle then down to one while starting the ‘day release programe’ where we let them put mornings into the wild wallaby & roo mobs and they return themselves, and over time not returning as they become wild.
We have had 3 new wombats down to the release pen (november misses in 2015 wombat calender) and their release is underway opening the gates last night! We also released Miss July ‘sunshine’ or sunny for short back in sept.
Lily and Poppy are getting big!But that’s what happens we guess we love them so and will be sad to be soft releasing them but happy to see them wild.
November 2014 Again a busy month, Wombats, Poppy and Lilly in the wombatorium are growing fast, they love their evening walk, eating grass, exploring wombat burrow’s and having a cuddle. A hugely relaxing end to the day, watching the sun set with these two. Got to be careful, as Lilly keeps sneaking off to explore other wombat burrow’s and she never comes when first called, impossible to find in the dark, so back in he wombatorium just on dark.
Missy and Mysetry are going well, although we haven’t seen her out of the pouch yet.
We have put in an electric fence around the macropod pen and palace, I keep ‘ testing’ it as it’s head height, but I’m slowly learning. It’s to keep dogs, goanna’s and fox’s from climbing over.
We had some Russian neibours bring a Russian film crew around, it was a hoot we are about one third thru, and no we don’t speak Russian it’s dubbed, worth a look to see our beautiful area and a laugh. http://www.rtvi.com/video/20517
We have had lots of roadkill around, and it’s doubly sad when there’s a dead joey as well.
We’d like to thank the Roseville schoolbook club again, and in the coming days there will be something special arrive in the mail at school!
Wiggles, get’s his milk all over him and us when we feed him, he gets the wiggles and it’s a milk shower.
Dr Peggy has released an activity book and a book on her vast collection of Echidna stuff. You can order the books directly from her at [email protected] Lots of good activity’s for a school!
September / October 2014: Finishes a very busy month with 3 wallaroo’s, Ella , Annie & Stunner now in care and 4 wombats, Lilly, Poppy, Charlie and Wiggles. Jack wombat at 180gms came for just a week and an attempt to save Fred an adult wombat hit by a car took a few days of intensive care and tiny Bruce wombat at just 85 gms unfortunately hurt internally when mum was killed despite round the clock care we were not able to save. We soft released 2 additional wombats from the portable release pen Sunshine & Midnight doing the 20m drive each way daily for 10 days and now weekly and 1 swamp wallaby Bob finally not coming back at all and our first 2 red neck wallabys Ned & Rusty released as well with Ned sadly dying after eating something toxic out in the wild. We have seen Missy soft released with Ryan last spring return with the mob and now with a little Joey on board whom we call ‘mystery’ finishes the month on a very good note. And how can we forget Wilber wombat released earlier this year around most night’s and now hanging around with ‘charcoal’ a wild dark wombat, probably female .
Welcome Stunner and Ella. Both wallaroo’s arrived friday 24th October. The start of a little wallaroo group that we will release together. Ella is very shy and a big sister now for little annie and stunner is just that!.
Warwick found little Jack on the way home from a friends funeral. at 180gms he was a challenge to get feeding. Warwick did a great job and jack was doing really well., we had him about a week so morning rounds were taking us 3 hours. The timing wasnt right for us to keep jack as our wombatorium is full with lilly and Poppy and there is a bit of overlap with Charlie and wiggles, and Jack would have no where to live here, so we have handed him to another carer who will buddy him up and care for him, and just maybe he will come back to our portable release pen.
Welcome Wiggles the wombat: Octobr 13thWiggles the wombat has come to buddy up charlie and start their journey with us to final release in about 2 years. Charlie is at the moment Dinsdale ( after the Monty Python Pirana brothers) she has taken to dive bombing wiggles with mouth open snapping , snapping and trying to bite, like a pirana and will take a nip whenever she can. She loves nipping us, blankets everything, always has. Needless to say charlie will get used to wiggles and eventually like Poppy and Lilly be in-seperable and bite less we hope!
October 17th we lose Ned: Such sad new’s Ned the red neck wallaby has died , he was just about fully soft released still coming back most nights , but more and more staying out all night, We have had him 12 months, raising him from a Pinkie at only 900gms. Has been a bit quite a few days, but still eating and hopping around, unwilling to go out, last night he looked ill sitting hunched over, this morning worse, despite our best efforts he died. We don’t as yet know why he suddenly died, have had an autopsie and watched this, only clue his blood was not clotting properly, and no not a snake bite. We are sending blood to a lab checking for possible tick borne blood parasites. Waz is digging his hole now. ;-( Stastic’s are that in the wild apparently only 17% of joeys survive. We have a new buddy for charlie wombats and some wallaroo’s coming next week, but we are trying to learn from all outcomes here. Blood test’s reveal Ned had eaten something toxic to his liver, we don’t know what. Normally they don’t eat odd thing’s and as there is great browse and lots of grass around we might never know what it was. Very sad.
September 27th 2014- Welcome Charlotte wombat or as we know her Charlie for short. We picked up Charlie of the road about 5km from Rocklily, mum had just been run over sadly.
She’s full of personality, bites a lot will not drink, shreds her bottle teats and wiggles and squirms and we are falling in love with her rather quickly. Were not getting alot done in trying to settle her in to a routine, but that’s wombats for you.
Charlie weighs 2.25 kg’s and is about 7 months old. It’s about now he’s be taking her first steps outside mum’s pouch and nibbling on grass. We try and get her to do the same as if she were with mum. Although she’s as yet not keen on her bottle and prefers to bit us instead!
Aug 16th 2014 – Bruce Wombat Bruce was a tiny 84g, about the size of a squash ball or chook egg. Warwick came across his mum who had just been hit by a car late Friday night. The driver didn’t know that wombats have pouches with joeys in them.
Little Bruce was feeding well, but unfortunately he died after 4 days. The bruising had been coming up on him in the few days before, on the back of the head, jaw, hip and lower spine. I could see he had a tummy full of milk so he must have died after his 10 am feed. I thought things were not quite right through the night, so am not really surprised; mum was hit side on and rolled under front of car, so Warwick was surprised he was as okay as he initially looked.
Least I gave him a go and learnt from that. The smallest wombat I know someone has raised is 60g and they are about 20kg when released!
June 2014: Bob’s released now. He’s a wild swampy, enjoying himself. He’s not been back in the evenings after day release for 10 days! We shut the little ones in the soft release pen & palace called ‘the resort’ for the night, part of the soft release process; sometimes they stay out a night or two and come back, but eventually they stop coming back altogether as Bob has done. We have seen Bob on two mornings and he scored a bottle, as it is getting cold, but it’s all up to him now. My last photo was Bob attempting to ringbark the newly planted shade tree we’d just planted next to the palace.
How much fun can you have … playing with my wombats… what characters!
Our latest arrival is Rusty the red-necked wallaby, just about soft release size, but way too tame. He’s in lovely condition, so he’s going to learn to be wild with us and the other wallabies here. Will keep him in the soft release with Ned the other red neck for a few days, to bond, they they can both go out on day release! Rusty’s very soft and loves a pat, but not too much of that now, we’ve got to slowly wild him up! Our only problem is that Ned & Rusty look just like two other wild red necks in the group of about 10 that live around the house area & bush! I walked up to one calling “Hello Rusty, time for bottle” and he bolted! Rusty is very funny, he’s discovered the stinging nettle, but keeps hopping through it, then jumps around till it settles down—not long at least!
Just what is ‘soft release’ or ‘hard release’?
Hard release is where you basically just dump/leave the rehabilitated or hand-raised animal in the bush and cross your fingers. :-/
Soft release is from a pen (wombatorium for wombats also under construction march 2014) or macropod yard, where you can over a period of time take the wombat or roo/wallaby on walks, familarising them with the area and letting them meet and learn from the locals and start to become part of the mob. You can then leave them out in the daytime and eventually not shut the gate at all. For wombats there is an in-between stage, as many are raised on smaller properties where they cannot be released—or, for example, we won’t want to be releasing everything we raise from the same wombatorium near the house. It’s a portable enclosure with a protected burrow where they stay for about 10 days, note it’s got a mesh side so they can see what’s happening and locals can peer in. They are fed daily and either dig out before the 10 days or leave when the gate is opened and they can come and go, still being support fed. This at least gives them a chance to met the locals and find their own burrow while still having the pen and burrow to retreat to. We put a camera on this enclosure so we can monitor what’s happening.
Portable wombat release pen installed at ‘Grandillia’ down the valley from us. As you can see it’s made from pool fencing panels with star posts, and they are set on wire reinforcing to prevent wombats digging out too quickly. A burrow is made with a roof to prevent it filling with rain and we added another small roof over where we will be putting daily feed for the 10 days or so the rehabilitated wombat will be in the pen. April saw our first release from the pen, and we were able to see that he’s been round the nearby weekender for a week or 2 later . We have also been working our way down the 1.5km ridge finding active burrows and fixing camera’s to check who’s there and make sure there is no mange about.
We have released 3 wombats to date (July) and have found 2 new burrows and a re-used older burrow, abut 1km along a north facing ridge. We have also been getting night shots of wombats on the ridge line where there were no signs of wombats before.
Joey palace is the new joey pen & yard we are just trying to finish off (March 2014). Because of our location, we have wild dingoes from the park from time to time, a wedgetail eagle nest on our hill and powerful owls as well as large goannas around. So little macropod joeys need a shed and fully secure night pen while they are still small and bite sized and easily carried away by any of the various predators. The pen is attached to the main macropod release enclosure with a gate so they have plenty of space during the day till they are big enough to be let out daily. Eventually gates are left open and the joeys ‘soft release’ themselves. Ryan & Missy did this and it’s great to see them as part of the wild mob that lives around the house.
Until the joey palace is finished we have a night pen with straw inside, the house and we have fenced our veranda and yard for the joeys to hop around in while the pens are being built. This will still be used for small joeys.
The photo shows Ned checking out his new shed & yard.
Rocklily dates back to the 1890s. It was a large property covering a few thousand acres, subdivided into around 12 bush blocks in the early 50s and now bordering the SW corner of the Blue Mountains National Park and within the locked gate area of the Sydney water catchment. Nearly all block owners are welcoming of wildlife and release on their blocks. Sheep were run by the thousands in the day, but now it’s pretty well all reverted to bush, with huts dotted around and along a private right of way.
Wilber some months on and doing really well.
Wilber Wombat is living in a few different burrows now, moving around and not getting beaten up by other male wombats, thankfully. We see him some evenings wandering around eating the grass, unconcerned by the wild roos and wallabies nearby. It’s so good to see animals living freely in the wild. We have released a few wombats and roos now and are so rewarded when we can catch sight of one, wild and doing what they should be doing.
March 2014 Update on Wilber. Wilber has settled in nicely, we spot him grazing in the paddocks with the various other wildlife and living in his burrow. He has spent the odd night in other burrows and had a bit of a dig here and there. He wandered into Warwick’s shed the other night on dusk, and was easily chased out. It’s great he avoids us and runs and hides at first sighting, although I think as he has hung around where we released him, if he gets into trouble we will see and be able to help him. Tracy and Jerry have done a great job raising him, he’s still got a lot of wildness, which will help him in the future living with a truly wild population here. We have added a ‘roof’ to his burrow to avoid flooding—normally wombats move around burrows over time for extra winter sun, avoiding flooding, and whatever, but as yet Wilber feels safe in the one burrow so we make it as comfy as possible while he gets used to being wild. There is a wombat gate in the fenceline just behind his burrow, and we have opened this to teach him that this is how he can come and go from the macropod paddock.
Feb 14th 2014 Wilber wombat arrives. Wilber has been hand-raised, and being a gentle soul loves his mum and dad so much he almost beats their car back home from his release pen. Unfortunately he’s not much on road rules and has had a near miss with a truck—with great dedication Jerry and Tracy pulled him through. Now it’s time to try again to release him into the wild. We have taken on the task of wilding him up and put him in the 1,500 sqm macropod enclosure. There is a wombat burrow and 4 wombat gates, and plenty of grass despite the drought. It was very sad for Tracy and Jerry but they could see when we opened his box he dove straight into the burrow. At dusk we checked on him, and he took off straight away, again straight for his burrow.
Feb 2014 Bob & Ned growing daily and interacting with the locals!
Feb 2014 Predator proof Joey night pen and shed.
To date we have released a number of adult kangaroos needing relocation, holding them in the 1,500 sqm pen for a week or so then opening the gates. Ryan & Missy came to be soft-released at 9kg, too big for the resident goannas, wedge-tailed eagles, powerful owls, dingoes from the park or foxes to think too closely about as dinner.
Now raising our first little wallabies we need a fully enclosed (mesh roof) yard with a shed inside. We have also to upgrade our big soft release yard with smaller wire up to the full height. Plus shadecloth around perimeter so little feet when bounding around don’t get caught & broken, often a death sentence for them.
We have cut into the slope a new shed site and yard with access. Our shed, 4m back wall, 5m front and 2m high and deep, will give a snug and secure place. Waz & Drew (our visiting son), have milled up some local fallen timber and built the frame, roofed it and poured a concrete floor. They thought it would only take about 12 concrete mixer loads , but it ended up 20 and all this while temps were in the high 30s—they are still smiling!
Jan 2014 Kate & Lucy. January turned into a really sad month for us here, we lost both our little wombats. There are lots of downs to wildlife care. We are very upset but would like to share the good with the sad of wildlife care.
Our little wombats Lucy & Kate stopped pooing. Wombats can go for a couple of weeks without a poo, but at 10 days we got worried. A few drops of oil in the milk and away we went again, but again 2 weeks later things stopped again. They both had issues with some of their organs (lungs in Kate’s case, spleen and kidneys in Lucy’s) and therefore were more susceptible to illness. They caught/had (we don’t know when or how) a common but nasty bacteria that affected the growth of the nerves in the bowel, and part of their bowel stopped working. The first and obvious symptom of this was no poo and “bloat” from a gas buildup with fermenting milk. Both were still on milk, and getting into each others’ bags and, as wombats do, eating their poo. The wonderful Dr Howard and Glenda tried very hard to save them, battling for weeks with untiring dedication but it was not to be. When we get little ones into care, even the orphaning event when mum is killed adds stress to them, and getting cold and possibly injured just adds to the tally against them surviving. We can only take consolation that it’s been a learning experience for all and hopefully help with other little ones. We feel it’s important to be honest about the good and the sad things, it helps us all learn. This photo of Kate was taken on Xmas day.
Dec 2013 Wombatorium: This is a place to keep our wombats and is used as soft release pen. Stage one. A 1m deep trench is dug in an oval and we have collected 18 secondhand roller doors, which will be unrolled, dropped on their sides into the trench and bolted together. We will put in a burrow with a shelter and a wombat flap and door to take the wombats on walks. We will keep you updated. We have also installed a smaller wombatorium in a neighbour’s place so we can soft release adult (20kg) wombats now, just waiting for the hot spell to break. And yes the wombats will have a great view over to where our wedge-tailed eagles nest!
December 2013 Time moves on and our little ones are growing daily.
morning bottles for next 24hrs…
BOB the swamp wallaby makes 4! Poor Bob was found by Ranger Bob hopping around his dead mum on Wombeyean Caves Road. So another call to us! Bob’s 1.2kg and probably was in and out of mum’s pouch. Being older it will be harder for him to adjust, we have put him in with the others and after nearly a week he’s doing well, but still hiding in his bag. We will take it slowly at his pace allowing him to get used to us as mum and his new mate Ned.
Miss Lucy Wombat arrived early October 2013. Poor Lucy’s mum was hit by a car and died, and a passing motorist—Lucy—found a baby in the pouch. So Lucy has been named after this lovely lady who rescued her. Lucy has been with another wildlife carer, Marie, for 2 weeks before being buddied up with our Kate as they are both about the same weight. As little buddies together they will be more independent of us and not so imprinted, making their journey over the next two years back to the wild much less stressful. Lucy is a much more laidback wombat, her nose is completely brown and she’s a much slower feeder. We hope naughty Kate will stop getting out of her bag and getting in with Ned, and instead get in with Lucy.
Ned Kelly, a swamp wallaby. Poor Ned’s mum ran into the side of a Park Ranger’s car, in September, lucky little Ned was unhurt. We were contacted and met the ranger roadside, Ned was a warm wriggling bundle, all legs and tail. I left Ned in mum’s pouch as I was going to have to be very careful getting him out without damaging his long thin legs. At home we were able to carefully cut the pouch open to retrieve Ned, still nice and warm. It can take a bit to get a little one (680g) to get used to the taste of the special milk (Biolac) and teat, so I feed every 2 hours till they start to actually take some in and get used to it all. Then 4 hourly 24 hours a day. Ned toilet trained nice and quickly as he is a bit older than Kate the wombat, he’s got a fine covering of fur already and his eyes are already open. We have hung Ned in his pouch in the hospital box so it’s more like hanging in mum’s pouch.
Introducing Miss Kate Kelly our latest postcard girl.
Kate’s mum ran out onto the road in the early morning light and was sadly hit by a car in August 2013.
The driver was most upset and checked the pouch and found Kate, a hairless, warm, wiggling baby wombat. She carefully got Kate out of mum’s pouch and wrapped her in a hanky and put her under her t-shirt to keep her warm.
They were on their way to Wombeyean Caves to visit the caves, and so gave her to the Park Rangers there. Ranger Bob kept Kate warm and rang us up to come and get Kate to look after. Kate only weighed 260g, her little ears were nice and big although her eyes were still shut.
Kate was quite cold despite Bob’s efforts and we slowly warmed her in a special hospital box. When Kate was nice and warm we were able to give her her first bottle of special marsupial milk with a special teat and tiny bottle. You should never try and feed baby animals, as it can easily get into their lungs and they then get very ill.
You can see how strong and shaped Kate’s claws are for digging, and she’s starting to get some hair. When she has lots of hair she will be able to keep herself warm and won’t need to have heat in her hospital box.
Kate has just recently been joined by another little wombat called Lucy who will become her buddy; they will stay with us for nearly 2 years till they are nearly 20kg and be released back into the wild away from roads. More about Kate will be in our news section and Facebook from time to time.
Ryan & Missy have been released for a while now (October 2013) and have been accepted into the Alpha male’s (Brutus) immediate family. Brutus has the 2 biggest females in the mob of about 20 -25 Eastern Grey Kangaroos. They both have last year’s young ‘at foot’ (hopping around with mum) and a joey in the pouch. We have noticed that a third ‘at foot’ joey has appeared, so presume something happened to his mum and he’s getting some protection from them. Ryan & Missy seem to also be hanging out with this small family and we often see them grazing together. We get Ryan coming over for a neck scratch still, and if we leave the fly screen open in the evening we are likely to get a visit from him, even though he’s never been in the house other than these sneaky visits. We don’t encourage him, as he’s learning to be a wild roo, and it’s sad to have to get him out and shut the door.
2013 Soft release pen 1500 sqm … This is a fenced pen on the side of the ridge near our house. We have no domestic animals, so it’s a very quiet place. Our front veranda and ‘lawns’ are often covered in roo or wallaby poo and from every window you can catch sight of the wildlife close to the house. The pen appears clear in the Google shot, but is actually covered in native grasses and waist-high bracken, like all the hillsides, with a few trees coming up as well. Its three wide terraces across the slope give great exercise while residents are not off on walks. It also has a wild wombat burrow and a number of wombat gates that we have locked off at the moment. It was originally built as a berry patch and the 6ft high fencing was to keep the wallabies from eating the berries!
Ryan & Missy, eastern grey joeys at about 10-12 kg each, arrived at Rocklily. They seemed so small to be left out in our pen! The local house mob had joeys at foot at the same size. After a number of weeks Ryan & Missy were quite at home in their pen, having found a little hideaway among the bracken to bathe in the sun, or sheltering in their shed from the rain. The local wallabies, roos and wombats would pass their pen through the bracken so both got to see who was around. We started exercise and walks outside the pen when we were sure they would hang around for their evening roo nut treat (it’s just compacted lucerne). They were timid at first, and came out only a few metres, while we calmly sat on our chairs nearby reading with the little green bucket they had come to associate with their nuts. Just sitting with the wild mob nearby eating was very relaxing, and as the weeks went by Ryan & Missy did laps around the shed and house, and moving among the mob, getting roused on if too close to a big male. We were glad to see they were not chased away, but calmly accepted. Missy was far more daring than Ryan and a few months older and would bound up the cleared hill behind the house to where most of the big boys hung out.
Early June 2013… Eventually Missy didn’t come back when called and Ryan looked so forlorn, his little arms hanging down, hopping around with us as we wandered around and rattled the bucket and called and called. That night we left the big spotlight on, hoping it would keep predators away, and I went over to the pen countless times looking for her. Next day we let Ryan out early and wandered around calling, but no sign … she has a torn ear so is recognisable. Again no luck, and I spent a second night constantly checking the pen with the big spot left on. At dawn while sitting talking to a despondant Ryan I thought I heard a noisy rabbit eating grass in the bracken, and it was Missy. It took us 2 hours to get her back in, she was never one to let you get close—a good thing in a pre-release roo but it made it a challange to get her back in quietly and safely. We opened both large gates and the top smaller gate and eventually walked her in. We think she’d been hanging around in the bracken outside the pen all this time. By now the nights were really cold so after some consultation with other carers we made the decision that was the last walk for a while. They needed to be bigger to manage on their own if they did get spooked, and we had to consider the obvious effect it had on the remaining roo, Ryan, and we didn’t want him dying on us. Missy not being particularly bonded to us was far more outgoing than her buddy and too hard to control.
They have a long run 60 m long by about 30 m deep so did have quite a good hop around at times.
July 11th 2013… Ryan & Missy have worn a patch at the gate and watch for us to come with their feed. Nights are below zero, with frosts, and we’d just had a few weeks of heavy rain 174mm in 24 hours, so I relented—they were always busting to get out. Ryan was hopping with joy, doing speed laps around the shed and Missy around the house, they settled down eventually and happily went back in for their roo nuts, ahh we thought. Next night, Ryan started his speed laps and Missy while lapping the house spotted something in the house forest and bounded off! Oh no! Eventually Ryan realised Missy was gone and just followed us around, looking around sadly it seemed. We eventually locked him away at 10 pm and I made another 3 visits checking for her. Next night, presuming she might just be hiding in the bracken, we tried again with no luck. We went down during the day to comfort Ryan as he was hanging around the gate and for the first time putting his arms around Wazza’s thigh (he’s 6’4″ tall!) boy did we feel bad. Finally we hatched a plan: open the gates, put the roo nuts in the shed and come inside. We could hear Ryan on the veranda and when Warwick unpacked the car Ryan was 2 feet behind him. After an hour Warwick quietly went down to the pen and Missy was there hoeing into the roo nuts! He got the big bottom gate closed only to find a quite cheerful Ryan heading out the smaller top gate, he’wrestled’ Ryan through the gate (gently of course!) and we had them both home finally. So what we have learned from this is that we need the roos to be more bonded to us and each other, a bigger mob, and to enlarge the pen to accommodate this. Ryan and Missy seem to be quite settled, not wanting to go out, so we hope as they grow a bit more and the weather warms we can try again.