Sunday 27th July, 2014
We do not mind people observing what we do when we are out on rescue, photos are even fine, but to have the commotion of an excited group of people in a situation where an animal is already in distress is not helpful! Chaining up your dogs or containing them so they cannot injure or stress out the animal even more until we can get there is common sense. When the people called it in, they were most concerned about the dogs harming the wombat and said that the dogs were the reason the animal could not move on in the first place. They also said that the dogs had this critter bailed up at the back of the shed ALL night!!
It's logical to assume that if the dogs were contained when it was first noticed the night before that the dogs were harassing him, the poor wombat would have had a chance to escape and move on, out of harms way and we would never have to be called!!
After all the dramas, it turned out to be a happy outcome for the wombat. We took him straight down to local forest and released him immediately. We opened up the back of the ute and he hopped out on his own, disappearing into the scrub.
I was relieved suitable bushland was not far away as I don't know how long the back of my ute would have held up to a large wombat trying to tunnel out the tailgate!! We were glad that our friend Dave decided to come along 'just for the ride' as it made it a lot easier to manhandle the burly wombat into the back of the ute when we finally got hold of him.
On Sunday 27th July, I received a call for a wombat which had been bailed up all night in a shed by dogs at a private residence.
I immediately rang Deb to fill her in on the details and we arranged to go out on the rescue together as we do not get many wombat calls.
I was told by the bloke who called for assistance that the wombat was not fully grown and about a foot long.
We get out to the location, anticipating the possibility of a baby wombat.
The scenario was close to a wildlife rescuer's nightmare!
We were lead to the back of a large shed where a healthy, fully grown Wombat was attempting to hide from large dogs which were still trying to have a go at it. Instead of calling the dogs away and going to lock or chain them up, the small group of people on the property were totally preoccupied with surrounding us with mobile phones in hand, taking pictures and making lots of noise!
We managed to grab the terrified critter and attempted to manoeuvre him into a large carrier to transport him back to the ute. The poor wombat, with the noise and excitement far from helpful, obviously did not want to co-operate at all.
He refused to go forward and kept attempting to retreat backwards away from the carrier.We had the idea to turn him around. Maybe he would be more inclined to back away from us and reverse right into carrier.
Not so simple.
He barrelled through us and took off!
The dogs were quick on his heels, barking madly! Owners were yelling, trying to call them off and suddenly we were on the chase. We needed to get to him before the dogs could do any damage.
The wombat sought refuge underneath an old caravan in a machinery shed. We used our net poles to encourage him to move again because there was no way we could get to him under the van. Finally, he decided to make another break for it and we were able to grab him and carry him back to the back of the ute which, thankfully, has a fibreglass canopy. We put him straight in, quickly shut the back up and high-tailed it out of there. Both Deb and I are fairly fuming at this point!
Often wildlife wander into residential places and are just passing through. If you notice them, please contain dogs and usually the critters move on within a very short time. When a koala appears in our house yard, we make sure the dogs are locked away until they move on just in case they decide to harrass them when they come down. They usually only stay a day or two and often disappear by next morning. This is a lot better for the animal and also means we don't get called out to as many unnecessary rescues.