Visit the wallaby rescue in Mission Beach, Australia: it’s one in a million!
The rescue lady is wacky as hell (aren’t they all?) but the animals are cute as can be!
When I was travelling through Australia, I visited Mission Beach to go skydiving. But that doesn’t really take much time, so you need other things to keep you busy during the day. I got the advice to go to the wallaby rescue.
Well, let’s just say that it was quite the experience 😉
With a group of 8 people we were taken to the rescue center, which just happened to be someone’s house.. That was unexpected! It turned out that a local woman had taken it upon herself to rescue wallabies and kangaroos in need. To provide the best possible care, she took them into her home and looked after them there..
This only applied to the small ones though. If they got too big, there was an outdoor rehabilitation place where they were sent to. From there on they could be released into the wild again. I can understand the differentiation: you don’t really want a full size kangaroo in your home, now do you?
So we were all seated in some sort of common room area, and waited until two women came in carrying pouches in their arms, filled with little cute fury animals.
Baby kangaroos and wallabies are called ‘Joeys’ (don’t ask me why that is, but I think it sounds fun). As Joeys grow up in their mothers pouches, they need to be kept in pouches as well when raised by humans.. So the ladies from the rescue center had made pouches in all colors and sizes, to keep them in.
The pouches were spread out throughout the room, hung from chairs and tables and even a bookcase. I guess a pouch is kinda useless when set on the ground, they have to ‘hang out’ 😉
We all just sat around and hung out with these little Joeys.. The smallest ones were in the pouch full time and were passed around to be cuddled with (you really don’t want to do that with an adult one!!) and the slightly larger ones were free to roam around.. They weren’t really shy from us, but we couldn’t pet them either.
I think that’s a good thing. Imagine walking somewhere in Australia, and a wild adult kangaroo comes up to you to be petted, because he did when he was still small.. that’d be weird right?
All in all it was great to see these beautiful creatures up close (even though one of them nearly shit in my bag) But the thing that really stuck with me was the owner: she was absolutely passionate about doing this, but she was definitely weird.
She’d do anything to get extra funds to keep the place going, so she had ‘endorsement deals’ with local businesses: if she handed them business, she’d get a cut. So she ended up trying to persuade us to hire a boat, visit several places and even to buy weed.. (Seriously, she even had business cards for the latter one!)
But I didn’t mind:
If you’re willing to do literally anything to take care of these cute furry things, you’re granted a few quirks in my book.