Being a part of Chittering Wildlife is not always the heart-warming experience we could wish for. Our rescue teams are often called on to ‘rescue’ animals already dead, or close to dying, suffering from road kill, dog/cat attacks or obvious poisoning symptoms.
Here is a carers heart-breaking story.
Just before Easter they received an early morning call from a distraught person saying she had just hit a kangaroo which had died but she thought there might be a joey in the pouch! The carers drove off to the scene – to find what looked like a small Western Grey Kangaroo and yes, it did have a joey in the pouch. Sadly, the joey was also dead possibly from the impact of the car. As if this wasn’t bad enough, a closer look revealed this was not a Western Grey but maybe a Euro or Wallaby.
Photos were sent to other carers and the doe was identified as a Black-Gloved Wallaby or Western Brush Wallaby (Macropus irma) The carers were devastated — in all their years of volunteering they had never seen a live Black-Gloved Wallaby.
These shy marsupials are close to being listed on the Threatened Species list. The most you usually see of them is a shadowy flash as they scoot away from you into the bush. They are victims of predation by dogs, cats, loss of habitat and road accidents.
Out of this incident came the spark of a new idea to involve the public in a better understanding of our wildlife. We, as a group wouldn’t just turn up at local shows, we would encourage people to initiate their own research into the lives of Australia’s wildlife.
Operation Wallaby was born. We would target a different animal every six months. To honour the dead Black-Gloved Wallaby we decided that beautiful animal would be our first target. Our members took up the idea immediately sending in ideas – including school projects, surveys, a social media campaign and talks from scientists.
More on this as we develop new ideas.