Rae worked from home prior to the fire and still does so, but in a more limited capacity, that’s how we pay the mortgage. She gets up before dawn and Sayo does the late shift and gets to bed around 3am usually. Young joeys are with their mothers 24/7, and we emulate that as much as we’re able to. The dedication we put into this, doesn’t leave much room for anything else.
Sadly, there’s very little in the way of government support for helping our native wildlife, who suffer so much at the hands of humans, due to development and loss of habitat. Most wildlife are lactose intolerant and require expensive specialist formulas and medications. Most expenses are covered by our kind donors and sponsors, and we contribute our own personal funds when we can afford to. We also have an online store with all profits benefitting the charity. We sometimes run auctions via our Facebook page to raise funds as well. Rae & Sayo also host an Air BNB on the property, to help pay the mortgage. We are all volunteers.
We won’t say no to an animal in need. We don’t just accept healthy animals to care for. We will take in the sick, the broken, the injured. We will go the extra distance to give them a chance at a normal life. We believe every animal deserves to live if they have a chance of full rehabilitation. We believe every animal deserves respect and every animal deserves to be loved. If their broken bones can be fixed, we will get them fixed. If they’re sick and need intensive care, we will provide it.
It’s not. We have wallabies here too! And chickens and cats, but this site is all about native animals. We care for kangaroos, because we can provide something many other wildlife carers cannot – acreage and a release site. Joeys require a large space to develop their muscles, and ideally a safe bush area as well, and we provide that for them. Eastern Grey Kangaroos are said to be the one of the hardest animals to care for in the world, with an extremely high death rate (thought to be around 50% in care and 76% in the wild). This is often due to their stress levels, which can cause all kinds of difficult to diagnose ailments, and why they require vigilant husbandry. Their lives are in our hands, so we take our caring role extremely seriously. Did you know a kangaroo chased by a dog, can potentially die a few days later due to the stress it endured? A kangaroo joey can die within 24-hours of diagnosis with some diseases. So far, we have a high success rate and we are working incredibly hard to keep it that way. Our motto is: “We will accept death in care, we won’t accept death due to poor care”. The high level of care involved in kangaroos, has meant we haven’t had the time or funds, to build facilities to house other animals in need… yet!
We love all animals and want to educate ourselves extensively on any species we take on in future, to give them their best chance of survival. Whether it be a sugar glider, a pig, a goose or a wombat! If an animal is in need, and we have the facilities and knowledge to care for, release or re-home them, we will.
We clean up a lot of poop! It’s not very glamourous. We wash and sterilise a lot of bottles and teats. We do around 20 loads of washing a week. We spend at least an hour a day collecting fresh native browse and grass for the younger ones to enjoy in the evenings. We also spend several hours a day in the bushier areas of the property, teaching our youngest joeys about the land and helping them develop their confidence and strength. Of course, there’s all the bottle feeds as well. When a joey first comes in, he or she is often on 6-7 feeds a day around the clock. This reduces slowly until they’re down to 4 feeds a day at around 10 months old. They remain on 4 feeds for quite some time before being slowly weaned off altogether at around 18 months old.
Rae & Sayo are both licensed under Wildlife Rescue South Coast, to rescue wildlife and care for macropods (kangaroos and wallabies) in the state of NSW.
Unfortunately, not. Because we care for wildlife, it’s incredibly important to dehumanise the animals before they’re returned to the wild. Kangaroos are easily stressed with change, so we avoid them interacting with more people than necessary. We do not hold an exhibition license, and are therefore not permitted under NSW law to display animals to the public. We welcome any questions you might have about the wildlife in care and we’ll happily share photos and information.
We welcome volunteers who can assist in all manner of ways, whether it’s helping with the animals, cleaning, making snack baskets for the joeys, picking up poop – there’s always a stack of jobs that need doing, so any help is greatly appreciated. Please send us an email if you’re interested in volunteering your time. Please note that animal interaction is only available to volunteers willing to stay and help every day for extended periods of 6+ weeks. This is due to the stressed nature of the wildlife and our desire to ensure human contact is limited only to those people they see daily.
We have a wish list of items in need which includes:
- Boxes of nitrile or latex disposable gloves (all sizes)
- Hay bales: Rye, Clover, Oaten Hay
- Bags of feed: Castlereagh Lucerne Stud Mix, Alpaca Blend (orange and green bag), Ambos All Purpose Pellets, Steam Cut Oaten Chaff (dust reduced), Cracked Corn, Cracked Lupin
- Needles and syringe barrels (all sizes but 23g needles and 1ml & 3ml barrels are used most)
- Puppy pads
- Most other medical items – please don’t throw out anything near its use-by date
- People who can sew liners and bag hangers (pouches) – we can supply preferred designs and styles
- Wombaroo 0.7 Kangaroo Milk Powder & Wombaroo Impact
- Vytrate or Lectade
- Revolution Tick Treatment for Cats or Dogs (all sizes)
- Cold Power laundry detergent
- Canesten laundry hygiene rinse
- Napisan or Vanish (for colours or for whites)
- F10 Antibacterial cleaner
And any regular donation is extremely helpful. $5 a month will pay for a new teat, $50 a month will provide milk and impact to feed one joey.