A critter-fest at Bonorong

tasmania-bonorong-2016-94Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary is a key player in the ongoing effort to maintain a viable captive population of Tasmanan Devils that can be released back into the wild as and when the threat from the highly contagious Devil Facial Tumour Disease has been contained. In the wild Devils are strictly nocturnal, but the keeper tempted this one out of his den with the offer of a dead chick.  It was wolfed down ravenously.

Bonorong looks after sick and injured animals from all over Tasmania with a view to ultimately releasing them back into the wild once they have recovered. We were pleased to meet this young wombat, who is an orphan.  She is recovering well, and is due to be released in about a year from now.

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Bonorong also has some koalas on site. Koalas are not native to Tasmania, but Bonorong was asked to take on some from Kangaroo Island in South Australia.  These had to be removed to help manage an overpopulation problem amongst the koalas there.  This guy is called Bert, and he is very cute and very, very sleepy … koalas have to sleep for about 20 hours a day so that their systems can cope with the toxins in the eucalyptus leaves that are their staple diet.

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We hadn’t realised before that koalas are closely related to wombats, and when you study that them closely the similarities are obvious. However one lives in trees and the other on the ground.  Also, the koala is as thick as two short planks (a brain about the size of a walnut, apparently) whereas the wombat, which is regarded as the mastermind of the marsupial world, is only as thick as one short plank.  Both, however, are as cute as hell, and who needs brains anyway when you can make friends and influence people just by being unbelievably cuddly?

There are also a number of Eastern Grey Kangaroos bounding around the grounds at Bonorong. However it was hot today, and for some of them bounding was just too much bother.

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[17 November]

Author: Platypus Man

"Platypus" is a red herring: I'm English, although my blogging career began in my record of a 2016 road trip to Tasmania. Other blogs followed covering road trips in Newfoundland (2017), the Yellowstone area of the USA (2018) and New Zealand (2019). My current project is "Now I'm 64" , a weekly blog covering UK travel and wildlife, along with bits of history, social commentary and moans about the injustice of aging. I can guarantee a few laughs, and also the occasional rant. Some of it's even quite well written!

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