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 part of their body touching each other!
But cuddles alone are not enough! I’ve added items to their area to entertain and stimulate them. Now there might not be many bears and swings in the Australian bush but the swing represents something new, something that moves and a challenge. In the wild, there are storms, branches that come down and new animals will appear in their area such as foxes, possums and echidnas. To help Elsie and Barney develop the instincts and confidence to deal with life in the wild, I have to constantly add things and change their familiar environment . Elsie shows her fighting skills when a bear appears!
Day or night – Elsie is fascinated with her swing!
Barney on the other hand just settles in for a nap!
I also regularly fill in the entrance to their burrow. Now this might sound all very mean, but remember, my job is to prepare them for the wild and life in the wild can be tough! One day they might find another animal in their burrow, or too much rain might damage it. Elsie and Barney need to be strong and capable and ready to work hard to fix their burrow or accept any interruption or difficulty. Sending two spoilt, cuddly wombats into the wild unprepared would be cruel. So for now they develop their determination and digging skills with confidence!
I’ll be challenging Elsie and Barney more along the way! Please continue to follow their journey – the count down to release is on!
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