So where to start … with so many animals coming into care, where do I begin?
Why do animals come into care? Should we intervene? Do we have to right to remove these animals and try to rehabilitate them in an artificial environment?
Firstly we have already intervened. Our involvement starts when they are hit by a car, when their habitat is removed, when our domestic pets attack them, when they become trapped in fruit tree netting or fishing line, when we feed them the wrong foods in our gardens or at the lake, or when we lay poison for pests. Native wildlife are also effected by litter, predators, disease, fires, storms and fighting for territory. These animals wouldn’t survive if we didn’t intervene. We all have a responsibility and a roll to play. My part comes with rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing these animals back into their natural environment. Returning wildlife to the wild is the end goal -always.
How can you help? If you saw an injured person would you stop? Would you take them home? Or would you get them to someone who has the experience and qualifications to help them? It is illegal to keep any wildlife in your care for longer than 48 hours in Canberra unless you are a registered wildlife carer. Other states, territories and countries have their own rules – please check with them.
So let’s start our wildlife journey. This is my story and this is the story of some of the animals in care. You can also follow me on Instagram wombats_and_wildlife_heljan09.
Disclaimer – All videos and photos are owned by me – please do not share without permission.
Latest from the Blog
As I wrote in an earlier post, many brushtail possums come into care – some hit by a car like Ted’s mum. But possums also face other problems – territorial fights, stress dermatitis, thrush or other illness, poisoning, animal attacks, burns, being trapped or abandoned. Many people also hate possums! They claim possums get intoContinue reading “Ted gets a friend – meet Tilda!”
Welcome to the prerelease stage! This is the stage where Elsie and Barney prepare for release back into the wild. They are so big now and since wombats are nocturnal, most of their fun takes place at night! Elsie and Barney are now getting up – ready to run around when I’m tired and preparingContinue reading “Night time = play time!”
We receive many joey brushtail possums in care. They arrive in care mainly because their mum has been hit by a car and killed. Ted was found lying on his dead mum’s body by the road. Ted was protected from injury inside the pouch but as mum’s body went cold, he crawled out and satContinue reading “❤️ Ted ❤️ The brushtail possum!”
Every animal in care or captivity needs enrichment. Luckily animals raised together can use each other as a source of entertainment! Elsie and Barney roll, climb on and bite each other continually. I’m also a form of both nurture and entertainment for them! Togetherness at all times – they usually have at least one partContinue reading “Enrichment in their lives!”
Elsie and Barney love to play. They spend so much time cuddling, rolling around and chasing each other. But as they grow, practicing their skills becomes more important and the play occasionally turns serious. Whatever Elsie is communicating below (that we are unable to interpret) she clearly tells Barney to behave. He can be seenContinue reading “Wombat combat!”
Barney has always been the more aggressive of the two wombats. Elsie can bite hard, but when she plays, there’s still a certain gentleness. Yes I am covered in bites, knocked off my feet and have many bruises but Elsie plays differently. Barney is just aggressive – growling, jumping up and repeatedly attacking Elsie andContinue reading “⚽️ Let’s play ball! ⚽️”
The bond between Elsie and Barney remains strong! Although wombats in the wild are solitary, these two have been raised together to lessen the bond with their carer and to ensure the wombats keep their ‘wombat’ behaviors. That’s the theory but carers and wombats still become very close which is evident in my other posts.Continue reading “Sibling ❤️”
Just in case you haven’t read my blogs (and why not, what have you been doing?!) here’s a recap on the adventures of Elsie and Barney ! This is my latest movie. Elsie – from 120 grams to now a huge 18 kilos! Barney arrived in care months later weighing 600 grams and he nowContinue reading “Latest movie – a recap!”
Elsie is huge! At this stage of her development she would still be with her mum but her independence is growing! Although she still wants to come in the house (but isnt allowed!) she can head off and put herself to bed, taking Barney with her! Elsie and Barney still have a bottle each twiceContinue reading “Nearly all grown up!”
Flattery is the sincerest form of flattery – or so Oscar Wilde said! Even as a tiny joey, Elsie had 8 black nails and 2 pinks nails on her front paws! Very strange for a wombat but perhaps there was the tiniest something missing in her diet when she arrived in care at such aContinue reading “Imitation”
Elsie is almost too heavy to lift up now! She has also mastered a great skill – she runs at me, clips my leg and sends me flying! I am bowled over by her at least twice a day! I am covered in bruises! Elsie and Barney are still fed a bottle each, twice aContinue reading “Literally bowled over!”
Elsie and Barney enjoyed Easter! No chocolates for them, just carrots, sweet potatoes and lots of grass! We also took the opportunity to make some short clips to bring awareness about these wonderful creatures! Elsie and Barney continue to thrive! Have a safe and happy Easter. I’ll be blogging more soon! You can follow usContinue reading “The Easter Barney is real!”
You can read Barney’s full story all through my earlier blogs. Dear little Barney is very sweet and today was his visit to the vet for his microchip. All of our wombats in care are microchipped and eventually released back into the wild at the appropriate age. Then, if they ever come back into careContinue reading “Barney’s vet trip”
One year ago today – on the 14th March 2020 – a joey wombat was delivered to my house (see my first post). Little Elsie had been found in her dead mum’s pouch. She weighted just 120 grams, was dehydrated and a fetus! Those first few hours establishing her care – setting up the humidicribContinue reading “One year to the day since Elsie arrived!”
Elsie is big – I’ve given up trying to weigh her! Barney is probably around 11 kilos. They live permanently outdoors now – or at least that’s the expectation! Keeping them outside and away from the back door is a challenge! I have to remind them frequently that they are outdoor wombats, preparing for lifeContinue reading “Elsie and Barney – wombats growing up too fast!”
Have you ever wondered what it’s really like being a wildlife carer? Is it all cuddles, love and joy – every minute of every day? Well, let me be honest……..it mostly is! But it’s also hard work; soul destroying when an animal doesn’t survive despite our best efforts; exhausting getting up around the clock toContinue reading “The day in the life of a carer….”
Rolling into 2021! Elsie the wombat demonstrates her exuberance and love of life! Over Christmas and new year, I continued to have ducklings in care, crimson rosellas and of course Elsie and Barney the wombats! Barney loved helping me care for the wood ducks! Barney even had the opportunity to meet my pet rabbit calledContinue reading “A new year!”
So what is Christmas in Australia like with two boisterous wombats in care? Messy! Noisy! Fun! The wombats find everything, are into everything and destroy everything! But I wouldn’t have it any other way! ❤️ They also go searching for their Christmas presents! Elsie keeps watch… but….Busted! Barney finds his christmas present. Have you heardContinue reading “🎄 A little wombat cheer! 🎄 Merry Christmas!”
The Elsie and Barney continue to thrive! Elsie is happy and robust and Barney has so much character! They continue to entertain and delight me! They both have two bottles a day – one in the morning and one at night before they go to bed. Elsie is a year old and weighs nearly 10Continue reading “Elsie and Barney – what are they up to now?”
If you read my earlier blog you will know that Elsie came into care at only 3 months old and weighing a mere 120 grams. We weigh all animals when they arrive in care and record their progress to ensure they growing and developing as they should. Based on Elsie’s weight and development when sheContinue reading “12 December 2020 – Elsie turns 1 !”
Lily was the first wombat that I raised from joey until release back into the wild. You might start thinking that all these wombats (Elsie, Barney and Henry who appear elsewhere in my Blog) are alike but nothing could be further from the truth! Yes, wombats in care demonstrate similar protective behaviors – the running,Continue reading “Lily the wombat – the first one !”
Sometimes, just for the fun of it… and because I like to fill every minute of my day.. I make silly movies! These movies get posted on social media. There’s a fairly large audience who love them. My viewers then spread the word about these movies and suddenly even more people develop a love ofContinue reading “Elsie and Barney star in their own movie!”
Elsie, Barney, Lily, Mitchell and the others now have a shop! Are you interested in owning your own little piece of some of the wildlife that are in care? Are you interested in helping a charity that rescues, rehabilitated and releases Australian wildlife? Woo hoo! Then jump on Redbubble and make a purchase. The fundsContinue reading “Your own piece of wildlife!”
The bond between Elsie and Barney is now very strong! They adore each other! For a while I doubted it would ever happen, but look at them now! Even with all this love, their play is still rough! I’m always amazed that these spirited battles are ‘friendly’ – imagine what a real fight between twoContinue reading “❤️ That’s a whole lot of love! ❤️ Elsie and Barney!”
Henry the wombat arrived into care weighing 1.5 kilos. He was around 6 months old. Henry had ticks and mange and was very dehydrated. We presume mum had been hit by a car and he had tried to survive alone in the wild as best he could. Since wombats stay with their mum until roundContinue reading “Remembering Henry”
Victoria was one of the loveliest adult swans that came into care. This will be a hard blog to write… So why write it? To share the story of this beautiful and majestic animal and maybe to help me get some closure after all these years. Victoria was rescued from the lake with the helpContinue reading “Victoria”
Playtime between Elsie and Barney is rough at times but it’s all in good fun! With every bite, head bump and chase they are learning how to defend themselves and survive in the wild when they are eventually released. Elsie likes to win! She’s bigger and stronger than Barney and although Barney often instigates theContinue reading “Wrestle mania”
A cygnet is a baby swan – cute name – gorgeous animal. In Australia we have black swans which are grey fluff balls when they hatch. Samuel the cygnet came into care after being handed into a vet. He may have been abandoned or taken from his parents. Taking one of these delightful fluffy creaturesContinue reading “Samuel the Cygnet”
Working with wildlife isn’t just about wombats! Although I’m licensed to receive all wildlife (except snakes) I prefer not to work with reptiles, cockatoos or galahs. I have worked with those animals in the past – I just prefer not to! Wombats, tawny frogmouths, echidnas, possums, swans and rosellas remain my favorites. Then one afternoonContinue reading “Echidna”
So now there’s two wombats to take to work! Up at 5:30 am to play and bottle feed and toilet both Elsie and Barney. Then there’s time for me to get ready to head off to work lugging both wombats with me. Elsie weighs four kilos and Barney weighs three, that’s a lot of wombatContinue reading “A lot to lug, a lot to love!”
So Elsie and Barney loved their time exploring the great outdoors – well the great outdoor enclosure actually! They climbed, went digging, ran around and ate something but I have no idea what it was! It looked like rocks or dirt – something that was tasty for a wombat! But once we came inside, exhaustionContinue reading “The great outdoors?”
So what to do with two arguing wombats? What would you have done? Seriously! Im open to suggestions….! Then I considered the great outdoors! There’s nothing like getting outside in the sunshine and enjoying nature! Beside if the wombats were concentrating on not losing ‘mum’ and exploring a new environment, then they couldn’t be fighting!Continue reading “Yes! Bonding!”
At first Elsie was indifferent to having a wombat in the house. But after a few weekends, Elsie would run through the house with Barney trailing behind her – then she’d leave him somewhere and run back to me pretending that there never was a second wombat! Quite a good trick! When the trick ofContinue reading “Bonding?”
Elsie is thriving in care! She is now over eight months of age, weighing nearly four kilos! She’s an active and happy wombat. Wombats stay with their mum for over 18 months and create a bond that is strong and very necessary. Elsie has that bond with me – she needs that bond to feelContinue reading “Learning through play!”
Unfortunately then another wombat joey came into care! Her name is Brindabella or Brindy for short. She came into care at around four months old and weighing over 500 grams. Brindy’s mum was hit by a car. Luckily a member of the public stopped and checked the pouch and found little Brindy. Although the vehicleContinue reading “And then there were three?”
Elsie is thriving after 5 months in care and now weighs over two kilos! Then another wombat joey arrives in care. Meet Barney – Barney Rubble! Barney came into care when mum was hit by a car. Unlike Elsie, who only had mum for the first three months, Barney arrived in care weighing around 600Continue reading “And then there were two…”
At six months of age and weighing over a kilo, the change in Elsie was incredible. She no longer needed to be kept in a humidicrib so she was moved into a portacot. Unfurred joeys are unable to generate enough heat to keep themselves warm and, in the wild have the constant warmth of theirContinue reading “Elsie, huge growth, great development!”
When Elsie came into care at just 3 months old and weighing just 120 grams she looked like a jelly bean! Her progress was slow. However each new drama was dealt with and her progress and development continued. After looking pale and being diagnosed with low iron – she took her oral iron and herContinue reading “Elsie continues to thrive!”
So let’s start with Elsie – the joey wombat. Well let’s start a little before Elsie! Just before Elsie came into care, a tiny joey wombat was delivered to me weighing just 40 grams. Unfortunately she arrived cold and very dehydrated. She had to be euthanized, one of the saddest parts of my job. ForContinue reading “Elsie the Joey Wombat from 120 grams”