Our Unwanted Visitors
The Wild Bucks of 2005

Roo Gully is a working wildlife sanctuary and not a commercial park.
Our roos live in 22 acres of bush and natural pasture,
plenty of space for those living with us now and for many years to come,
but if we allowed breeding we would soon have too many roos living with us.
Then we would be forced to make big decisions or have those decisions made for us.
So we do not want joeys born here.
However a couple of weeks ago 2 wild bucks decided otherwise!

I was away, enjoying some quality time with my grandchildren,
when the volunteers sent me an mail titled 'Are These Ours?'
Dark Boy
White Chin

Along with photos of 2 roos that definitely were not ours!

We named them Dark Boy and White Chin,
and they had gained access to Roo Gully by literally jumping our 2 metre high fence.
One thing was for sure,
the wild bucks could not stay.
Wild boys

And so started the planning to get them out.

We needed people to do this, many people.
And on the day of the Annual General meeting the entire committee
went down the paddocks to persuade them to leave via one of our release gates.

Dark Boy leaps Creek

We failed miserably, as they hopped effortlessly
backwards and forwards across the little creek,
an obstacle much more difficult for mere humans.

During the time we were rethinking our plans
the wild bucks had 'fun'.

We saw Dark Boy mating Wattle,
and it was obvious Bracken had fallen in love too.

Even our usually nervous Bron
had a smile on her face!
Bron Smiles
Splodge grooms Dark Boy
And our 'gay boy' Splodge,
seen grooming Dark Boy in this photo,
seemed to enjoy their company too!

But the wild boys had to be moved out.
And so began a day we will all never forget.

We were fortunate to obtain the loan of a tranquilizer gun,
and also the presence of our vet, Jules, for as long as it took.

Estimating the weight of Dark Boy and White Chin,
Jules drew up the anaesthetic dose needed for each roos.
Jules loads anaesthetic
Jules Dave load gun
And, down in the paddock,
the tranquilizer darts were loaded into the gun.
Then we were faced with the first problem of the day.
Our marksman, Dave,
needed to identify the wild bucks
so he did not tranquilize one of our roos.
And this was no easy task.
Dark Boy, Splodge, Jake
Dark Boy, on the left of the photo,
looks very much like Jake on the right.
And White Chin, on the right,
looks very similar to Splodge on the left.
Splodge, Dark Boy, White Chin

At 50 to 100 metres which was which?
Identification, at a distance, was not going to be easy,
and everyone was relying on me to get it right.
The pressure was on!

We decided to go for Dark Boy first
because he was the more dominant male of the two,
and we thought if he was out of the picture White Chin would be easier to get.

Dark Boy tranquilized
Luckily we got close fairly close to Dark Boy,
and down he went.

White Chin followed soon afterwards.

Having such close access to 2 wild bucks was too good an opportunity to miss.

And so while, they were out for the count,
we took their weights, measurements and many photos.
Dark Boy photos
All of interest to all those caring for Australian wildlife,
and to the world of science.
Dark Boy out
Dark Boy's teeth
Dark Boy
We also took fur from each buck for future DNA testing,
and blood samples, which were sent to Murdoch University in Perth.
Jules taking blood
Bllod sample
During these procedures we came across something of interest.
We knew from seeing him hop around Roo Gully that Dark Boy had a torn ear,
but we didn't know that White Chin had a finger missing.
White Chin missing finger
It was a perfect stump, with no apparent scar tissue.
So was it an old injury caused by accident,
or a genetic deformity?

We only hope we don't find out from any legacies from these wild boys!

It was a worrying day but also exciting.
We discovered the worth of having a tranquilizer gun
and are hoping to raise the money to buy one of our own,
not only to deal with any injuries that might happen to our less humanised roos at Roo Gully,
but also so we can help roos that need our help out in the bush.

And yes because we have just finished the first series
of our TV series we filmed everything,
just in case we go to a second series.
Boys in the bush filmed

We are pleased to say that the day ended well.

We transported the boys
at least 35 kilometres away from Roo Gully.

Wild boys recover
Where after a final veterinary check...
...they were left in peace,
wrapped up against the cool evening air.

Before midnight both boys had recovered and gone bush.

A happy ending - as long as they do not find their way back to Roo Gully.
Fingers crossed they don't!

We are sure we will be counting the cost of their time at Roo Gully
in a couple of weeks when some of the does start producing joeys.

Yet another chapter in the ongoing drama
that is 'The Roo Gully Diaries',
which as we all know is a never ending story.

On behalf of all the animals at Roo Gully we thank you for caring

The Wild Bucks' Tale s© Roo Gully 2005

Photos courtesy of Roo Gully,Kayleigh Andrews, Baharan Kazemi