by Nick Stowe
Huon Bush Retreats has adopted a small and cute new orphan; Lucy, the Rufous Wallaby.
Lucy’s mother was killed in a road incident in the Huon Valley area. She was delivered to us by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service at a very young age and we are taking on the responsibility of raising her, as a recognised and experienced wildlife carer premise, to ensure she has the best chance in life.
We are in a fortunate position to be able to hand raise Lucy. Due to the natural bushland surrounding the property, it makes the transition period of release much easier. As Lucy ages, she will be free to come and go via our cat flaps and venture outside the building to explore the surrounding bush!
Near our vegetable garden is our hard release pen. This enables carers to leave animals for three to four days with food and water. The pen gate is then opened one night to enable them to move out into the wild.
We estimate Lucy was about 5 months old when these photos were taken and were just furred when rescued from her mother’s pouch. Her tiny body is just 20 centimetres long and tail only 15 centimetres, so she still has plenty of growing to do – a Rufous Wallaby (or Tasmanian Pademelon), grows to a head and body length of 60cm and a tail length of 41cm. The average weight for males is 7kg and females, 4kg.
Luckily for Lucy, there are plenty of other Rufous Wallabies in our reserve and we are accepting the fact that one day she may not decide to come back home!
If you’re planning to stay at Huon Bush Retreats, now would be a great time to meet Lucy in her infant stages.