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Kangaroos rescued from mine shaft

Kangaroos rescued from mine shaft


In shaft


Last week was disastrous for Victoria’s kangaroos. In just seven days from Sunday the 22nd to Saturday the 28th of November 238 kangaroos were reported to Wildlife Victoria’s Emergency Response Service needing help. The following remarkable story was just one of these many reports.


Late in the afternoon of Sunday the 22nd of November, Wildlife Victoria received a call from Shaun and his walking companion, concerned members of the public. They had been on a Sunday stroll in the Wombat State Forest and happened upon a very odd predicament. Four kangaroos down an abandoned mine shaft. The shaft itself was 5-6 metres deep and amazingly the larger adult animal was able to make his nose visible, catching Shaun’s eye. After quick investigation Shaun noticed 4 kangaroos; 3 adults and one joey..


Shaun’s immediate and coordinated action saved these animals from further suffering; he was straight on to the Emergency Response Service.  The incident was reported at  4.30pm and our staff were able to contact our dedicated and able volunteers, Manfred and Helen, by 4.40pm. Luckily, the location of this incident was right in the volunteers’ neighbourhood.


Manfred and Helen arrived to an eagerly awaiting Shaun, and then the hands on action started. Manfred being well trained and experienced was quick to come up with a plan of action and solution to this unusual predicament.

Manfred descending


With a 5 metre dart pole Manfred was able to sedate each animal and then able to undertake the tricky task of inserting a ladder and abseiling down into the shaft. The animals were individually hoisted up to the surface in special kangaroo transport bags where an eager Helen was able to assess their condition and the extent of their injuries. It is believed that the animals had been down the shaft for over 24 hours! Quite an extraordinary, and surely terrifying experience for these beautiful creatures.


Upon assessment, unfortunately the female kangaroo had sustained quite extensive injuries. She was suffering from a number of internal injuries and compound fractures. Sadly, these were injuries that would prevent her from being rehabilitated. She was euthanased as to not compromise her welfare any further. The young joey was suffering from a number of small breaks and bumps, but thankfully nothing that a little TLC (from our dedicated foster carers) can’t fix. The two large males both suffered minor bruises and trauma, but no life threatening injuries. Both went into short term care for monitoring.

Joey with Helen


This amazing and coordinated rescue is a testament to the cooperation of individuals and organisations. Shaun expressed great gratitude and thanks to Wildlife Victoria and passed on special thanks to the actions of Emergency Response Operator Erica for her swift coordination on the day. Wildlife Victoria would not function without the extraordinary volunteers that give their time and hearts to the rescue of our precious native animals. We are blessed to have the likes of Manfred and Helen who assist our wildlife in times of need, and owe them both an unsurpassable amount of thanks and look forward to many more opportunities to work together.


Finally the most amount of thanks must go to Shaun and his walking companion for caring enough to make a phone call, and initiate the coordination of this extraordinary rescue and rehab. Without members of the public notifying us of animals in distress we would not be able to help and assist those that need us most.