Wildcare Inc. NT

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The Darwin Macropod Rehabilitation Centre

The Darwin Macropod Rehabilitation Centre is run by a few dedicated carers and has been functioning for almost 30 years. It is a very secluded place that is used as a final rehabilitation area to allow wallabies, possums and bats to integrate into their natural habitat away from human intervention. Wildcare is now funding this centre with assistance from Parks & Wildlife and other organisations. Over 150 wallabies, over 50 flying foxes and a number of possums, quolls, bandicoots, tree rats and the occasional cockatoo pass through the gates every year.

The success of this centre in rehabilitating hand raised animals is mainly due to the minimal contact the animals have with humans. Instead they socialise with others of their own kind learning the behaviours they require to survive in the wild.Macropods are usually hand raised by carers until they are ready for weaning. Once weaned the animals are moved onto the centre where they spend a number of days in a transition yard, being introduced to other wallabies. They must be vaccinated for tetanus before going to the Rehabilitation centre. Once they are familiar with the area they are let out into the main yard - a 10 acre dog proof fenced paddock. The animals are them left alone with the other wallabies in the yard, only being fed and observed from a distance.
Once the wallabies are behaving in an appropriate manner i.e. they are afraid of people and run away from unusual noises etc, they are darted, tagged, and moved to a safe release site in areas such as Litchfield National Pk, Wildman River and Point Stuart.

This program has proven successful - some animals being seen months and even years after they were released. It is important that hand reared wildlife is able to survive when released back into their natural rangelands

Wallabies and Possums

The wallabies have 60 acres of undisturbed bushland that is fully fenced and protected from human interference. They are monitored carefully and selectively released in small mobs. Only wallabies indigenous to the Top End NT are released from the Macropod centre. Possums can be released in small numbers at the Macropod centre allowing the success of their survival to be monitored.

Bats

Also, within the Macropod Rehabilitation yards is a small flying fox colony. This colony is ideally situated to assist with the release of hand raised and rehabilitated bats. There are no reports of hand reared banded bats harassing people because they are too tame. With the past scare about bats and the possible diseases they carry, hand reared flying foxes must not be tame when released into wild.