Earlier this month, I posted about local dog owners allowing their dogs to escape their gardens and roam our valley. These dogs have been chasing kangaroos, wallabies, and wildlife in our estate. So far we have found two dead wallabies and three dead joeys, and who knows how many others there are in the surrounding forest and bush tracks. When chased, a wallaby or kangaroo will often throw their joey, which leaves the poor baby vulnerable to predators. Last weekend, this very thing happened in our garden.
Dog owners in our country estate were told to keep their dogs secured, but last week some dogs were out again, chasing the kangaroos and wallabies. The next morning, we noticed a little Red-necked wallaby, with a joey in her pouch. The mother wasn't eating any grass and was sitting in a funny position.
We tried for many hour to capture the joey, and the mother, but they were way too fast. We noticed that the joey was having trouble getting back into the pouch, which was probably because the pouch had shrunk because the mother had had no food or water in her stomach. Now the joey wasn't only starving, but the sanctuary of his mother's pouch was becoming unavailable to him. He hopped around squeaking in a panic and my husband and I tried desperately to catch him with a sheet him. When I got down on the grass and pretended to be a wallaby, he hopped right up to my head, (as you can see in the above video), but before I could grab him, he bounced away again. My heart broke. The mother hopped underneath the neighbour's house and the joey followed her, and finally, he managed to squeeze into the pouch. Happy that the joey would be warm for the night, I placed a bowl of water and some oats and crushed weetbix under the house near the mother, hoping they would eat something or at least have a drink. It was already getting dark by then, so we decided to leave them in peace for the night. We didn't want them hopping into the forest because then we'd never be able to rescue the joey if the mother died.
We didn't bury the dead wallaby becasue we hoped there was a possibility that they joey would come back to its mother, as they do. I knew it was possible for a joey to survive for a few days without food, so I still hoped to save it. We've saved joeys before that have survived in their dead mother's pouch, though I knew if we did save this one, it would most likely have pneumonia from the cold.
But the next day I saw a large dog, dragging the dead wallaby across the grass. I lost all hope of ever rescuing the tiny joey then. I couldn't believe that these dogs were still roaming free after the owners were told of the dead wildlife, and even today I saw a dog roaming at the bottom of our garden. Another neighbour told me she'd seen two large dogs in the paddocks yesterday.
WHY DON'T THE OWNERS KEEP THEIR DOGS IN THEIR OWN YARDS?
These dog owners may think they love their pets and that they should be able to run around and have fun. Well, they can't love their dogs that much because one was hit by a car and killed a few weeks ago and another one has gone missing, probably gone bush or was also hit by a car. Are the owners thick? We live near a highway full of traffic and trucks, not to mention the idiots that speed in our estate even though the signs say 30 KPH, and sometimes our native animals get hit and killed by motor vehicles. There's also been quite a few dogs killed since we've been here, as well as ducks, wallabies, kangaroos and other animals. I have the flu now from getting a chill after searching for the joey in the cold night air, but at least I can wrap up warm in bed. Our wildlife can't, they just perish when they get a chill, and on land that is theirs, not pet dogs. The video below was filmed a few weeks ago and before the dogs got out. Now there are no wallabies or kangaroos anywhere near our garden, or in the surrounding areas and wetlands. They've moved to safer ground until the dogs are no longer here. It's a shame because it was so peaceful here for them. See our garden in the video below.
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