Bandicoots rescued after nest destroyed

WIRES rescuer Kay Mallitt was called to collect three abandoned joey bandicoots from a resident in Bawley Point who had tried unsuccessfully to reunite the creatures with their mother.

The joeys’ nest had been destroyed by a gardener who was unaware it was hidden in the ferns he was removing. When the nest was disturbed the mother ran off into bush land leaving behind one female and two male joeys.

They were weighted and taken to Casey's Beach Vets and found to be severely dehydrated and in a serious condition. The smallest of the joeys, one of the boys, died that afternoon.

It's rare for bandicoots to come into care, so the WIRES team worked together to find information on caring for bandicoots, searching the internet, digging up old WIRES manuals and calling on experienced retired members for advice.

Caring for the joeys involved feeding with a syringe every two hours at first and then they were taught to lap. Their new nest was a pillow case inside a woollen pouch with a hot water bottle adding the extra warmth required.

The two surviving joeys weighing in at 46 grams each on the day of rescue had dropped to 42 grams after a couple of days. They were taken back to the vet for further hydration and a boost of fluids seemed to make the defining difference. Gradually the joeys started gaining weight.

Sixteen days after rescue they each weighed over 100 grams.

The joeys have since developed quickly and are ravenously devouring meal worms and meal beetles, crickets, cockroaches and earthworms.

Kay's husband Bruce put together a chicken coop for the bandicoots. It is safe and has plenty of room for them to dig around in the dirt.

The bandicoots will be released in Bawley Point when they reach 300g.

If you find any injured or orphaned wildlife please contact WIRES on 13000WIRES - 1300 094 737.

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