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Amazing Survivor

Wildlife Victoria received an unusual call for a wallaby in Ferny Creek, a suburb 33 km south-east of Melbourne. The driver franticly recalled how he had hit a wallaby and continued driving – thinking he’d killed the animal. He explained that he was doing no more than 40 km on the winding road towards his family home when a Wallaby jumped in front of the car.


What added to our rescuers amazement was that he drove on thinking he would get home and fetch a torch and return to the scene. But when he arrived home he was shocked to find the wallaby intact and uninjured, between the grill and the radiator. Apparently he had been travelling at such a speed that the animal was able to survive being collected by the front of his car but could not get free.

Wallaby trapped in grill


The experienced rescuer carefully cut the grill away and cradled the Wallaby as gently as she could to pull him free. The wallaby was placed into a large, soft pillow case and transported to the closest vet for immediate attention.



Photo: Rosemary Lavin


The vet gently examined the joey to find no serious injuries but still sedated the animal to minimise the chances for delayed capture myopathy. This is a condition that often affects wallabies and kangaroos that have been involved in a stressful situation. It has claimed many animals that have passed initial physical examination in the time after an incident and can have a similar lethal effect to a heart attack.


After several days in care at a local shelter the wallaby was returned to the bushland near his territory. The carers walked for some time with the young joey until they came to an area with many signs of wallaby activity. He was released and happily munched on some grass before bounding into the scrub.