Roo Gully Diary - 2010


January 2010

2010 was a new beginning for Roo Gully.

And we began by celebrating Sadie's 14th birthday.

Sadie is the 'old lady' of Roo Gully,
being the first joey we cared for in 1996,
and who became the matriarch of our mob.
Although getting a few grey hairs
she was still a healthy and very happy kangaroo.
Goliath, the old wild buck who was now living with our mob,
became a regular visitor to the house, where he joined the others for dry feed and water.
He was gaining weight and looking much healthier.
Some of our females were also 'gaining weight' too.

But this had nothing to do with their good living.
It was due to them having a joey in their pouch!

And one of the first to proudly share her latest offspring
was old Molly!!

Another addition to the Roo Gully family in January
was Errol a young Tawny Frogmouth.
He had been hit by a vehicle
but thankfully didn't suffer any major injuries.
He just needed a home until he was old enough to fly.
And he settled in very well with our other resident Tawnies.
One of the best jobs we ever do is release a creature back into its natural environment.
Sarah, the Bobtail lizard, had been in care for many months recovering from serious injuries
she sustained after being run over by a Ride-On mower.
Sarah free
Laura had been her main carer.
And we know she was very happy
to see Sarah amble off into the bush.
Sarah release
Laura's university placement was coming to an end.
3 months had passed very quickly,
but she was returning home with many fond memories of her time here.
Laura Emily
Laura leaves
At the bus stop in town we farewelled Laura
and welcomed Lucy, another Plymouth student.
Lucy arrive
Laura also had company for part of her journey to Perth
because Lauren and Claire were going to spend a few days at Peel Zoo,
where they met quite a few 'interesting' characters.
Lauren lizard
Peel Zoo
Claire Cockatoo
Including the mischievous ostrich.
Lauren ostrich
And the menacing wombat!!
Claire wombat
Meanwhile, back at Roo Gully, Katie, a newly arrived volunteer,
was trying to look very studious!!
But our Canadian graduate was really a very bubbly young woman
who, like everyone else, soon fell in love with Ned and Kelly.
Katie feeds
It was proving to be a VERY hot summer in the South West of Australia,
which was draining for the joeys.
Aussie Hot Joeys hot
Draining for Emily, Timmy and Jessica.
Emily Timmy
And totally draining for the humans too!
Luckily our water supply was holding out.
Which meant we could still water the veggie garden.

And more importantly, now the creek had dried up,
the roos had fresh clean water to drink.

Roos water
Ned and Kelly was still sleeping inside at night,
and enjoyed their evening cuddles as much as the students.
Ned Leanne
But they were getting older and it was time to introduce them to the mob.
They were not too sure about going down beyond the creek.
Oh dear
It was a big scary world!
Joey watch
As everyone looked on...
They timidly met the bigger roos.
Meeting Meeka
Of course there is always one that is not so friendly.
And this time it was Bindi who could not resist showing the joeys, and us,
that she was no longer at the bottom of the pecking order ladder!
Bindi Carol
Thankfully the joeys always had someone to hop back to.
Joeys Safe
Lauren had been a great asset at Roo Gully.
Ned Lauren
Ned Lauren

But it was time for her to continue her world travels.

Lauren leaves
We sped down to the Roo Gully sign, beating the bus,
to give her a good send off.

One of this summer's projects was to start changing the Bush Cemetery
into what we hope will eventually become a much more pleasant Garden of Remembrance.

First task was to remove all the grave markers,
which was not easy as most had solid concrete tops to prevent wild animals digging up the bodies.

Despite the heat and the sheer physical effort, everyone worked as a team,
and everyone had a smile on their face - even if it was a dirty face!
Emily was still as mischievous as ever.
Everything was a toy, and she chewed everything, including the office chairs!
But it was to be a stick that was going to cause her problems.
The first indication anything was wrong was when we noticed Emily's neck swelling.
At the time we thought it was another allergic reaction to possibly a bee sting.
Sadly for the other passengers Emily is not a good traveller
and it wasn't too long before she was vomiting all the way to the Vet Hospital!!

The vet discovered that Emily was not suffering an allergic reaction,
instead a large splinter worked its way through her mouth into her neck.

She returned home, looking very sorry for herself, after surgery.

Cone collar
A few days later it was time for Heidi to journey back to Guernsey in the Channel Islands.
This was her 5th time as a volunteer and we don't think it will be her last!
It was also time for another little guy to move on to a new home.

Aussie was doing well but we felt he needed the company
of his own kind.

It had been an 'interesting' few months caring for our latest Western Brush wallaby.
He was inquisitive, and loved to explore.
Aussie went to another carer and is now living happily with a young female wallaby.
Towards the end of January
we were still busy with student projects.
This time it was Leanne who had to construct a devise to keep dung beetles away
from her control animal faecal samples.

Unfortunately she never got to try it out
because there was a distinct lack of dung beetles in our region,
which everyone put down to the hot dry conditions.

As we have said before, science is never easy.
So it was a change of project for Leanne - how the climate can affect Dung beetle populations!


There may have been a lack of some species - but we certainly were not short of snakes!

This summer was proving to our worst for snakes around the house and enclosures.
This one was discovered right outside the kitchen door.
It is a highly venomous Western Brown snake,
so had to be removed for everyone's safety.

Although we were coming to the end of usual joey season
there were still other animals to care for.
This young bird had a broken wing,
which sadly could not be mended.
But it was not all doom and gloom.

Because we finally released
this beautiful Bronze-Winged pigeon
that had been with us for a few weeks.
The students never needed an excuse to party.
Aus Day
And so of course they all thoroughly enjoyed celebrating Australia Day!
They donned their hats, waved their flags
and wore their temporary Aussie flag tattoos with pride.
January was coming to and end, and it had been a good month for most of us at Roo Gully,
but sadly it was not ending well for poor Emily.
The swelling in her neck returned.
And so it was back to the Vet Hospital
for more surgery.
Emily Hospital
Which rather pleased Timmy
who enjoyed the peace and quiet without his younger 'sister'!!

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February 2010

Timmy's 'peace and quiet' didn't last as long as he hoped!
Emily was home a few days later.
But Emily's problem didn't go away.
The swelling came back and within a week
she was back at the Vet Hospital for a LONG stay!
Timmy was MUCH happier!!!

Over the years we have had many volunteers and students stay at Roo Gully,
and it is nice to keep in contact with as many as possible.

In February we heard that Sue, a former Plymouth student, had successfully graduated
as a Masters student at Exeter University in the UK.

And Sandra, a Dutch volunteer in 2003,
returned to Roo Gully for a short stay and introduced her husband Stephan.
Carol also received some very special visitors this month.
Her youngest son, Ben, and her granddaughter, Charli,
who live in South Hedland, nearly 2,000ks north of Roo Gully came on an unexpected visit..
Despite the distance this wasn't Charli's first visit
so off she went to feed Ned and Kelly,
giving them both a loving scratch behind the ears as they ate.
Roly had been a young joey when he first met Charli.

Now he was bigger than her!
Of course Sadie, our old lady,
wasn't going to be left out.
And she made sure Charli delivered her 'silver service',
which seemed to please them both!
It is always sad to see family leave.
And the students were about to say farewell to their special Australian family too
because it was time for joeys Ned and Kelly to move to their next home..

Although Roo Gully has 22 acres fenced for the resident mob of kangaroos,
it is far to big a fence line to protect the young joeys from foxes.
And so we are not releasing any joeys onto the property until it is more secure.
Donations paid for an electric fence to be erected around a smaller enclosure at a nearby sanctuary.

Which was to be Ned and Kelly's next home.
Before their final release into an
adjoining environmentally
protected Jarrah forest.
It was ideal, but still sad for the girls who had cared for them.
However there are always our resident animals to keep everyone occupied at Roo Gully.
In the Western Ringtail possum enclosure
Dennis was still keeping close to his Maggie!
And in the Tawny Frogmouth aviary
young Errol was sticking close to his new friend Blink.

There were also the new casualties coming in.

This Australian magpie suffered a fractured leg,
but she was soon fixed up with a plaster cast.

And this young Brushtail possum came to stay
while his carer cared for her sick husband.
Every year, on the 3rd weekend in February, is the Boyup Brook Country Music Festival.
It was a very busy time for everyone at Roo Gully,
especially as Roo Gully Productions records the Festival on video.
Not an easy task when Pixie Jenkins is on stage!
The students were also involved, as Festival volunteers.

Lucy was the 'runner' for the film crew
so got an 'Access All Areas' pass.
And the others got to meet some of the stars too.
All smiles with Ernie Dingo.
Guys Pixie
As usual the 4 day Festival was a HUGE success,
and lots of fun - especially with Pixie around.

And everyone enjoyed the Wind Up party afterwards.
Including Pam, one of Carol's best friends, who had arrived from the UK.

Pam Pixie
But maybe the students enjoyed it too much!
Pixie Girls
Proust Girls
However, as usual, the local police made sure they got home safely!

Festival time is also when some of the Country Music stars
get to meet the stars of the 'Roo Gully Diaries'.

We think Sadie was a bit put out that Pixie was taking a photo of Roopert.
After all she is the REAL star of Roo Gully!

And Bindi looked a little aloof
when asked to do a photo shoot with Merelyn and David Carter
of Carter & Carter fame.
The long dry summer was continuing.
The constant heat was becoming
a drain on humans and animals.
There wasn't a blade of grass anywhere.
So we were supplementing the kangaroos
with more dry food than usual.
The month ended with Emily still at the Vet Hospital.
And although it is sad to say, like Timmy, Jessie was enjoying the peace and quiet too!

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March 2010

Emily's chews literally everything!
And it turned out a splinter of wood had pierced through her mouth into her neck
and ruptured her carotid salivary gland, so every time she salivated it drained into her neck.
Thankfully, after many surgical operations,
and weeks in the Vet Hospital,
she finally returned home.
Em Home
Jess was not too pleased!
Neither, in the beginning, was Timmy!
But they are good friends, and do love each other.
Well, Emily certainly loves Timmy, and most of time Timmy tolerates Emily!
After being away from Roo Gully for such a long time
Emily had to remember who was allowed inside the house.
She also had to undergo some intensive obedience classes!
Which Jess soon enjoyed too - when she knew there were treats on offer!
The Tawny Frogmouths at Roo Gully are fed a combination of various meats,
strips of beef, chicken and, when we can obtain them, dead day old chicks.
This means they can get quite messy,
and young Errol was not in the least impressed
when Claire decided he needed his beak washed.
But it was worth it in the end.

There is a common belief among zoos and wildlife parks
that Tawny Frogmouths are better being housed in smaller aviaries.

Of course, being a student, Claire decided to test this theory
as the subject for her Dissertation for her University degree.

So she started work on expanding the Tawny aviary
to include the neighbouring enclosure where Turkey,
the magpie, lives with Wilma, the Brushtail bettong.
Pam, a friend of Carol's from the UK,
watched as Claire cut the wire and screwed
the new platform in place, which would close the gap
if this experiment didn't work out as planned.
And the Tawnies watched too!
Later that evening there was a sense of bewilderment in the Tawny aviary.
Tawnies night
But it wasn't long before they ventured into the larger enclosure.
Turkey seemed a bit surprised to have company.
But Wilma loved it.

Pam's visit to Roo Gully was coming to an end,
but her Western Australian adventures were far from over.

During her last few days Carol took Pam
to meet a few of the residents of Big Swamp Wildlife Park in Bunbury,
where they met Elvis the emu.

And then on to Peel Zoo.
Where Pam got up close and friendly with a python.
But the best adventure was saved for Pam's last day in WA.
Good friends, who are also involved in Save Equus, kindly invited Pam and Carol
to go horse riding in the Indian Ocean at Naval Base beach south of Perth.

Carol had ridden as a child and a young adult,
but it had been many years since she had done this.

Pam had NEVER ridden a horse before!
But she took it like a duck to water.
Pam Ocean
And the broad smile told how much
she loved being astride Whisky.

Bachelor Boy and Whisky were the perfect horses,
and although Carol complained that the water was cold
both Pam and Carol thoroughly enjoyed their privileged time with these 2 wonderful horses.

It was a fitting end to Pam's visit to Roo Gully and Western Australia.

Although Roo Gully does not have the facilities to care for large raptors
we do hold them in transit before moving them on to the Vet Hospital
or to specialist carers in the south west.

This magnificent Wedgetail eagle
was brought to us after being found on the side of a road.

However he was not the victim of an accident.

Wedgetail eagle
He had consumed poison
and died within hours.
Thankfully, 2 other birds in temporary care
from another wildlife facility were doing much better.
We had helped fix this young magpie's fractured leg
and so were delighted when it healed successfully.
And her companion was only in care because she was found without her parents.
Being a young bird she was always hungry, and loved to play with everything.
In mid March the final Plymouth student of the 2009/2010 year arrived.
Chloe would be with us until mid June.
Chloe bed
Like all the students and volunteers, she soon got to know
some of our resident roos outside.
And inside when Sadie came into the kitchen
for her evening treats.
We were a little worried when Goliath, the old wild buck,
started spending more time close to the house.
Then we noticed there was something wrong with his left eye.
Thankfully our vet was visiting the next day,
which meant Goliath could be darted with the tranqiliser rifle,
properly examined and hopefully treated.
Loading dart
Everything went like clockwork.
And Goliath was quickly 'out for the count'.
t good
The initial examination did not look good.
And closer examination revealed that
his eye had imploded through injury or disease.
Eye gone
Although Dr. Jules Vandenbergh was prepared to surgically remove what was left of the eye
and seal the eyelids, Goliath would have to undergo surgery at least another 2 or 3 times.
This could have been too much for the old kangaroo.
Making the decision whether an animal lives or dies
is never easy.
But when Jules told everyone that Goliath
was also suffering from severe arthritis,
and had fluid around his heart and lungs,
which made him a huge anaesthetic risk,
we knew it was the end of the road
for this magnificent old roo.
Goliath down
Goliath was humanely euthanased
and carried away to his final resting place at Roo Gully.
Weighing over 120 kilos it took 7 people to do this.
Final journey
Every student falls in love with one particular species or animal.
Hannah adored the possums, especially her favourite Maggie.
So we all know how hard it was for her to end her placement with us.
It had been a long, hot and very dry summer in south western Australia,
and the dry spell ended with a huge and frightening storm.
But the welcome rains
helped germinate the grass.

And within days there was green feed
back on what was our dusty front 'lawn'.

The roos loved it.

Including Tommy, Jake and Roopert.
The break in the weather also meant
we had to get back to working in the vegetable garden.
Seedings needed to be planted for the forthcoming Autumn.
But we were reaping the rewards of all our hard work.
We were eating fresh vegetables and had harvested the pickled onions.

Claire was another Plymouth student coming to the end of her 6 month placement.

She had worked hard in the garden,
especially watering it over the long dry summer.

But she had also enjoyed her time with us,
made new friends and got to know some very special animals.
And like most of the students
had got to know many other members of our small bush community
who joined us at the bus stop for the final 'farewell photo'.

On behalf of everyone at Roo Gully we thank you for caring

Photos courtesy of Roo Gully, Katie Leigh, Leanne Bartlett, Laura Middleton, Hannah, Brown, Claire Selby, Lauren Mumby,
Rebecca Smith, Lucy Maxwell, Katie Paroschy, Sue Cox, Cindy Armstrong, Chloe Date and Jayne Lavender.

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April 2010 - Coming soon!!