A JOEY is recovering after its mother fell down an open mine shaft on private property in Kangaroo Flat.
Wildlife Rescue and Information Network volunteer Rachael Bennett was notified of a wallaby stuck about nine metres below the property’s surface yesterday afternoon.
She said the people who discovered the wallaby had done all within their power to help the stricken animal.
“They put water down there for it, the put fruit down there,” Mrs Bennett said.
Retrieving the wallaby was the one thing they could not do.
It was obvious to Mrs Bennett she too would need to call for help to get the job done.
“I knew it was a job for Manfred,” she said.
Manfred Zabinskas, of Five Freedoms Animal Rescue, had to abseil down the mine shaft to free the wallaby.
The wallaby was sedated via tranquilizer dart before Mr Zabinskas ventured into the shaft.
“We got her okay,” he said.
“At the moment she’s looking really good.”
But there was some concern the wallaby had sustained an injury to her tail.
Mr Zabinskas said the wallaby was being cared for by a friend and was under observation.
The wallaby’s joey, which only weighed about 330 grams, was being cared for separately.
Mrs Bennett said the members of the public who found the wallaby were able to recover the joey.
She said its mother had removed the baby from her pouch in her distress.
The joey was handed over to WRIN for care.
Though the joey was still very young, Mrs Bennett said it was of a viable age to be cared for outside of its mother’s pouch.
She said the joey and its mother would have faced an awful fate, had they not been discovered.
“It was an absolute miracle she was found,” Mr Zabinskas agreed.
A brown snake was rescued from a water well about 400 metres from the mine shaft containing the wallaby.
The rescue did not come soon enough for a deceased echidna sharing the same well as the snake.
Coliban Water, which owns the property, said it had no plans to cap known mine shafts at the site.
“This is a closed site where access is regulated,” a spokesperson said.
“We actively discourage entry to site due to a number of safety concerns.”