Some years ago when I still lived with my parents, my Mum and I decided we wanted to do something good. We decided that we would become Wild Life Carers. So we found a group, went to the meetings, and did the training, and got our first assignment. Which was a bird. A butt ugly baby bird. We had no idea what this thing was going to look like when it got older but geez it wasn’t going to win any beauty awards. Sorry but I can’t remember what it was. Some sort of pheasant looking thing.
It sure would have won an eating contest though. The little bugger wanted to eat everything in sight. We had this special baby bird mash that we had to make up and feed it through an eye dropper. I think it was ground up insects or something but it didn’t smell all that appetising to me. So we fed it, and it grew, and grew, and eventually we passed it on to the carer who would get it back into the wild.
So now that we could show we were good carers we finally got a furry baby! A wallaby Joey.
|This is not a pic of Hoppy but it's what she looked like.|
She came to us quite small and mainly spent her days and nights curled up warm and snug in the special bag we made for her. All wildlife carers who look after kangaroos and wallabies had these bags. Basically like a hanging nappy bag filled with warm blankets and sometimes a hot water bottle, with a small slit that the youngling could hop in and out of it without any trouble. It could hang over a door handle so you could take it to whatever room of the house you were in. This wallaby was a little female who had lost her mother, and she was the cutest little thing. We named her Hoppy. We had to feed her every three hours with the special milk we had for wallabies.
Eventually Hoppy grew big enough to come out of her bag and she would follow us around the house. Sometimes she would be quite naughty and then scoot off back into her bag before you could catch her. She would use her tiny sharp claws on our legs if she wanted to be noticed or picked up. She was particularly fond of my Dads hairy legs! When she was old enough we would take her into the back yard for exercise. She would race around the back yard, jumping close to the bushes she knew the cats were hiding in, to scare them out. She was quite playful. When play time was up, to get her back upstairs, I used to wear this long flowing dress and I would bunch it up in front and call to her and she would race over and hop in.
One time we even babysat another little wallaby. His name was Rodney. We only had him for a week though while his main carer was away. Rodney and Hoppy got on well, but Hoppy, being younger, was at times a bit boisterous for the placid Rodney.
Eventually Hoppy grew big enough to be passed onto the next carer, to continue her rehabilitation back into the wild.
It was very sad to see her go but we felt so good that we provided a dear little animal the chance at life. If you ever have the opportunity to be a carer, be it for wild life or domestic animals, I highly recommend it.