Young joeys are with their mothers 24/7, and we emulate that as much as we’re able to. The time and dedication required from us mere humans, doesn’t leave much room for anything else. Rae worked from home to pay the mortgage until March 2019, but now we rely on fundraising and your donations to keep going.
Sadly, there’s 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 expenses are now covered by our kind donors and sponsors. When she was able to hold down a normal job, Rae contributed her own funds to W2F to keep things going. Now committed full time to W2F, the charity pays Rae to lease the land the kangaroos live on. W2F now pay their fair share for running costs too. Rae’s time is voluntary and every member of W2F is a volunteer.
In addition to providing care for kangaroos, we take in special cases of domestic animals in need. We don’t like saying no to any animal in need. We have a special interest in wildlife and kangaroos in particular, and part of our time is dedicated to advocacy for and education about kangaroos to improve welfare for the wild population. 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! We care for kangaroos, because we can provide something many other wildlife carers cannot – land 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 (around 76% in the wild). In care, death 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, means we only take in short-term small non native animals to prepare them for rehoming. Check out our adoptions page.
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 branches, dirt 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.
W2F member Rae is authorised under Wildlife Rescue South Coast, to rescue wildlife, rehabilitate and release macropods (kangaroos and wallabies) in the state of NSW. Rae is assisted by WRSC volunteer Maree.
Unfortunately, not. 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 ONSITE 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. Please get in touch directly if you are interested in volunteering.
We have a wish list of items in need which includes:
- Boxes of nitrile or latex disposable gloves (all sizes)
- Hay bales: Clover, Oaten Hay, Teff, Rhodes
- Bags of feed: Micro Barley, Wheat, Alpaca Blend (orange and green bag), Ambos All Purpose Pellets, Steam Cut Oaten Chaff (dust reduced), Steamed Rolled Oats, Cracked Corn
- Needles and syringe barrels (all sizes but 22g and 23g needles and 1ml & 3ml barrels are used most)
- Puppy pads
- Most other medical items like urine test strips – 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, Di-vetelact
- Vytrate or Lectade
- Revolution Tick Treatment for Cats or Dogs (all sizes)
- Radiant Sensitive laundry detergent
- Canesten laundry hygiene rinse
- Napisan or Vanish (for colours or for whites)
- Chux clothes
- F10 Antibacterial cleaner
- Avagard or Dettol hand sanitiser
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.
Wild2Free received media coverage during the Black Summer bushfire crisis. Here’s just some of it:
Batemans Bay Post: Karen Bachelder helps out at Wild2free sanctuary at Runnyford
CBS Miami: Sanctuary Owner Tends To Injured Kangaroo
Daily Telegraph: Former music manager: ‘I won’t leave my kangaroos’
Other Media Coverage
Sydney Morning Herald: Wild Trauma