Shortly after we arrived in Kendenup, we learned that there was a wildlife sanctuary in the area. At a community market, we met some of the volunteers who were walking around with little joeys in pouches made of soft fabric and old T-shirts. We attempted to attend their open house, but the most awful weather combined with car trouble conspired to have us turn around before making it there.
I am happy to report that we finally got to the Uralla Wildlife Sanctuary and it was really an experience.
Mandy, one of the owners, gave us a wonderful tour.
All the animals have been named by the volunteers. I got to feed James, who actually puts his little “hand” on the bottle. Their front paws are very like hands- with little claws on the ends of them, of course.
We walked around and saw injured magpies and kookaburras, tiny rabbits, wallabies, kangaroos from all parts of the country, emus and dingos, all in large enclosed bush land. We met a mom with pretty big joey, whose leg was poking out of her pouch and one who had just a little peanut sized baby that you could tell was moving as her pouch was rippling.
There is also an area for pre-release with a gate that can get left open- to invite those who are ready to go back out into the wild.
Some animals have to stay due to injuries, like the kangaroo who had a leg amputated. Some, especially the females, go out but return to visit or stay close by for their whole lives.
As for the volunteers, they commit to a month or more and do all the feedings toileting and more throughout the day, from 7AM until 10PM. They are given rooms to stay in and shared meals. Mandy cooks a group dinner every night.
During our visit, three of the volunteers left to bring medicine and pick up two rescued joeys. This is their busiest time, when the mothers get hit by cars and are carrying joeys who need rescuing, and sometimes are also injured. Earlier in the year the babies might be in there, but are too tiny to survive, although they did rear one that came in weighing 300 grams, which is about 10 ounces!
Thanks to Neil, we have tons of photos. And thanks to our friend, Rosemary, we had a comfy drive out there. It was a long way out, no wonder we turned back the first time, but well worth the trip- a highlight from my time in WA.
The sanctuary is a non-profit, run on grants and donations and the formula for the milk is quite costly. To learn more about Uralla, see some great photos and a video of a joey being born, visit the Uralla Wildlife web site.
Many thanks to Mandy, John and the volunteers at Uralla!