When I first met Darryl, he was caring for a tiny pouch-bound joey named Lily. He took her everywhere – work or play, day or night. She was his pride and joy and rarely left his side. He adored her and she him.
When I arrived at Brindle Creek, Lily had grown into a fine young lady. She hopped around the donga, and Darryl would let her roam free during afternoon feedings. She never went too far and always returned when it was time to come inside. She was still the little princess and slept in Darryl’s room at night, but she had certainly turned into a big girl.
When we put together a large enclosure to serve as a romper room during the day for the young joeys, Lily joined in and spent her days outside munching on grass, lounging in the shade and living a great life. This space introduced the bubs to the outdoors while still keeping them safe from any predators. It also gave the wild wallabies a chance to learn their smells and introduced them as new friends.
After a period of adjustment, we began letting the joeys out of the enclosure to explore the sanctuary’s property after their morning bottles. They seemed hesitant to wander very far at first but soon discovered the joys of freedom. They boldly approached some of the larger males who were dozing under trees. They raced around in wide-reaching circles with looks of glee on their faces and mischief in their eyes. But, when dinner time arrived, they’d all be back desperately wanting their bottles despite having grazed all day on grass and macropod pellets. What a delightful life they all lead!