Kangaloola: Part One

Wallabies and Kangaroos

I just completed two weeks at Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter. I would have posted sooner but didn’t have internet availability up to the task of sharing multiple photos. So, I’m going to be making a few posts over the next few days to catch up. Today my photos focus on the wallabies and kangaroos.

Kangaloola does some extraordinary work on behalf of about 50 kangaroos, at least 4 wallabies (which are quite similar to the kangaroos); about a dozen wombats; several birds (including Dingles the emu); and Twisty the koala. Located in the Stanley Forest, the facility was launched and has been run for twenty-five years by Glenda Elliot, a woman of deep passion and endless energy. I’ll have more to say about Glenda later.

The facilities are rustic, to say the least. All water comes from cisterns fed only by rain water, meaning that every effort is made to conserve this precious resource, including limiting showers to once every three days. All electricity is solar-generated and is likewise limited. In fact, the sleeping facility (a pair of converted and connected trailers) for the volunteers lacked both water and electricity. The toilet was near but separate. It too, lacked, electricity and could be quite cold as the nighttime temps dropped sometimes into the low to mid-forties. Midnight “potty trots” (as my family has been known to call such nocturnal visits to the loo) required both a flashlight and a willingness to briefly endure frigid conditions both in the air and in, uh, all bathroom surfaces (if you take my meaning).

So, it was a bit like camping (though I had a comfy bed and warm comforter). A bit primitive but certainly endurable. And yet my first thought on seeing Kangaloola was, “I cannot stay here even one night.” Why? Well, the place didn’t seem exactly hygienic. To give just two examples: I saw many dusty cobwebs, including on the one exposed light bulb in the kitchen/eating area. There was also the unique aroma of kangaroo pee and poo in the lounge, the living room which hosted three kangaroos. And trust me, one does not housebreak a kangaroo!

Yet I stayed, and I’m glad I did. Why? Well, I’ll save that for a future post.

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