THE NEW FENCE
Roos paddock
Although we had no 'overcrowding' problem and the roos at Roo Gully had a beautiful fenced area giving them a mixture of natural bush, a creek and pasture, which provided shelter, food and space to enjoy their fun runs, we know we must always look to the future.
Every year more and more young orphaned, injured and sometimes sick joeys are brought to Roo Gully.
Many can never return to the wild and so need a home for life.

We are very conscious of the quality of life of all wildlife in our care
and continually strive to improve the facilities we provide for them, which includes their environment.

It is part of our Roo Gully dream to one day fence our entire 38 acre property,
but we decided that this is best done in stages.
Stage 1 has been in place for 2 years, and we thank the volunteers who helped us with this project.

Digging post holes
Stapling wire
Stage 2 was carefully planned.
And again included an area of pasture and natural bush.
Proposed new area

As the money from the appeal went into the Roo Gully bank account, and we neared our goal,
Roy ordered the fence posts and wire, and organised his team of volunteer workers.

Then the day arrived - the appeal had raised Au$3550!
We held a committee meeting on the 6th December and the treasurer signed the cheques.
Work started in earnest.

There is more to being a committee member of Roo Gully Wildlife Sanctuary Incorporated than attending meetings.
Everyone has a role in the whole Roo Gully dream.
Mike is our computer tech guy, who works hard at keeping all the office equipment running,
but he is also a farmer's son and he kindly donated his fencing skills,
bringing along a very nifty post hole digger that certainly made life easier for everyone.

Post hole digger
Mike at work
Then a truck pulled up at the main gates.
On the back were the posts.
Posts arrive
Posts in
And they were soon in the post holes!
The next task was making the sets of release gates for the new fence.
We cannot take the risk of having the kangaroos trapped by the fence in the case of fire or flood,
and so we needed several sets of gates that we can open to free them in such an emergency.

From past experience we know they would come home as soon as they could
and even if they did not we would never hesitate to open gates if there was a threat to their safety.

Our thanks go to Tom Oversby, local farmer, Shire councillor and joey carer, who gave his time and welding skills to make several pairs of release gates.
Welding gates
Strainer wire tied
Shane, a local volunteer, helped Roy position the gates and work began running strainer wires. With 4 strands going all around the new area the fence team ran over 3 kilometres of strainer wire.

It was a HUGE task!
Blisters and callouses began to appear on the working team's hands.

Blisters

Then the many rolls of the main 2 metre high wire arrived,
kindly brought down from Perth by our neighbours, Mead Transport.

The temperatures were by now rising but the fence team pressed on with the task in hand,
starting very early each day before the sun vented its ferocious heat on everything below.

Every morning they loaded the little tractor trailer with a petrol driven generator, their tools, and flasks and bottles of cold water, and off they went to work.
Tools for fencing
A couple of years ago, Roy, and our son James, ingeniously devised wire roll holders.
James was visiting from the UK and was recruited to help us erect Stage 1 of the fence.
Father and son worked together to construct our very effective wire roll holders,
which are still proving to be invaluable to any fencing we do today.
Wire holder
One holds the roll of strainer wire, turning freely, which enables the wire to be pulled from the roll without tangling.
And the other is a long metal pole, welded to a metal base. This is the main wire roll holder.
The tractor bucket lifted this second device just off the ground, and as the tractor reversed along the fence line the main wire unrolled and the tractor was able to hold it tight so the team could begin pinning it to the posts.
Tractor holds wire
The posts and wire were erected, but this was not the end of the task.
Fence up
The next job was the daunting job of checking the fenceline for any weak spots, and pegging down or blocking up any gaps under the fence caused by the undulating ground.
We were nearly there, but 4 more very important and time consuming jobs had to be completed
before we could allow the roos access to the new area.
  1. We had to deal with several massive meat ant nests that were discovered in the new area.
  2. We had to dig up as many Doublegee plants as we could find.
    (Doublegee is a particularly nasty spiked plant and is an Australian noxious weed)
  3. The team had to walk the entire fenceline several times checking for rubbish, offcuts of wire, or staples.
  4. And we had to tie literally hundreds of plastic supermarket bags to the fence - why?

Our studies are proving that the Western Grey kangaroo is territorial, and they like to know their boundaries,
but more importantly they are also extremely nervous creatures.
Like most herbivores they have evolved to realise they are potential prey to many predators,
and so fear is a major factor in their lives.
We have seen roos stampede during a panic, and have sadly witnessed a kangaroo,
our very dear Freckle, hit the fence and break her neck, dying instantly.
It might not look pretty, but we have found that by tying plastic bags to any new fenceline for the first few months helps them learn their new territory.
And so the team set to work, with Sandra, a Dutch volunteer, quickly earning herself the nickname - the 'Bag Lady' of Roo Gully.
Bags on fence

A few very hot and exhausting days later we stood in the far west corner of the new area and took these photos.
As we thought of all those who had supported our appeal,
and all those who had given their sweat, blood and tears to build the fence,
we felt so very, very happy and proud.

All of this was to be the roos' new home, and we gave our thanks to so many people.

New area
New area northwards
The 21st of December was going to be THE day.
From past experience we know the best time to introduce the roos to any new area is just before dark.
We know they feel safer at night and by removing the old fence early evening
it gave them time to become acclimatised before the sun set.
They could then explore and get to know their new territory under the cover of darkness.
Old fence down
The first job was to remove all the fixings holding the old dividing fence to the posts.
And then Roy began pulling out the old top strainer wire, which was holding the main wire up.
Strainer wire pulled out
Strainer wire out
The team helped guide the strainer wire through the main wire.
Before rolling the old wire in a neat roll so it can be used again.
Wire rolled
Of course this task was not made any easier by 3 young joeys, Abby, Cassie and Buster, who wanted to 'help'!
Abby peeps
These 3 were supposed to be safely tucked up in their pouches, hanging from branches in the nearby creek.
But we knew from the look on Abby's face that she thought they should all become involved!
Abby wants to help
And they did!
Joeys 'help'

Thankfully even with this 'joey assistance' the old wire was removed,
and then we all climbed into the lookout and waited.
It seemed an age before the first roos meandered through the creek where they stopped,
as we expected, to graze in their usual place.
With the old posts still in the ground it took a while before they noticed the wire was gone.

Roos cross old line
Then Heidi and her daughter Maple, followed by Molly, crossed the line.
3 roos were now in unknown territory.

As expected they panicked.
We watched as Heidi and Maple ran one way, disappearing from view through the trees.
Molly went the other, racing up the paddock and then along the new fenceline which guided her back to the creek.

To make Heidi and Maple feel safer we needed more roos in the new area.
With the help of a couple of loaves of raisin bread we tempted another 6 roos across the imaginary line.
Sadie, the matriarch, was among them.

Roos tempted across
After they enjoyed their treat of raisin bread this group moved off more slowly to explore their new territory.
Thankfully they eventually met up with Heidi and Maple, who settled down once they knew they were not alone in this strange area, and we all breathed a sigh of immense relief.

The introduction to the roos' extended area had gone better than we dared hope. In fact it had gone very well indeed

Roos explore

We would like to take this opportunity
to thank all of you who 'adopted' and donated during our appeal.

YOUR money helped finance this project, which has meant so much to our Roo Gully dream.
Because we are always conscious of spending the money you have donated wisely
we would like to give you a breakdown of the costs involved.

Fence Posts: Au$1819.51
Main Fence Wire & Strainer Wire: Au$1925.00
Materials for safety gates, fixings, etc.: Au$360.00
Total cost of materials: Au$4104.51

Money raised during our web site 'Fence Appeal'.
'Adoptions': Au$1550.00
Donation from Doris in Victoria, Australia: Au$2000.00
Au$554.51 was allocated by the committee from donations given by visitors to Roo Gully.

Now for the SHOCK!!
Labour costs would have been over Au$15,000.00
And so our heartfelt thanks also go to the Fence Team
who, with Roy, gave their sweat and hard physical labour to erect the new fence.

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