The other day we took in a very interesting looking animal called a northern brown bandicoot. She had a huge cut in her foot that was giving her a bit of difficulty, so Tanya admitted her so she could make sure that it didn’t become infected.
Daphne, as she was named, looked like a rodent, especially with her pointy nose and long tail but is actually a marsupial like many Australian mammals. Bandicoots are omnivores and eat things like insects, larvae, plant roots and fungi. They have long claws that help them dig up the soil to uncover food. Because they are such talented diggers, their pouches actually face backwards so that loose dirt and soil doesn’t inadvertently get shoveled inside with the babies.
Other than the cut on her foot, Daphne was healthy and had a big appetite. Every day Tanya would put ointment on her injury and it slowly began to heal up. At night, Daphne would leave her cozy little pouch and explore Tanya’s room. Being nocturnal animals, bandicoots use their sense of smell to find food.
When her foot was completely healed, Daphne would be released back into the wild. But, until then, she was just another patient who needed care at the shelter. During the course of my time volunteering at the shelter, I’ve been so fortunate to learn about so many unique native animals. It’s been an amazing experience and one that you can’t fully appreciate unless you live it.