I was born and raised in a captive breeding facility and released into the River colony in October 2012 with my friend Flower when I was two years old. My Dad Warrigal used to live right here and my Mum Selina was originally from the Watagans. My parents were specially chosen from their surviving wild populations and bred within a large predator-proof enclosure so that their offspring could be re-introduced back into tiny wild populations threatened by fox and cat predation, loss of genetic diversity and the effects of climate change. My family is helping to save my species from extinction which makes me super proud.
My name is short for Wirrabara – an Aboriginal name meaning forest of gum trees and running water – a fitting description of my stunning home between the clifftop and the Kangaroo River. I look like one of the locals, having inherited from Dad the beautiful dark reddish-tinged fur of the resident Rock wallabies. My handsome sons are keeping my Dad’s genes alive here.
I was radio-tracked by human friends for my first year in the River colony and now they keep an eye on me using spy cameras. It is difficult for our human friends to tell us Rock wallabies apart at the River colony. Compared to other colonies we don’t have many distinguishing features … like unique blazes. Some of us have identifying notches in our ears and I have particularly big shoulders for a female.
We all have in common our love of eating the hard-to-reach rock orchid leaves as well as our love of grooming our lustrous brushy tails. Our long tails aren’t just for show … they assist our balance and gymnastic manoeuvres by helping us change direction mid-air! Our flexible feet and super grip also make us professionals at navigating our steep rocky habitat. On winter mornings we love basking in the sun on high rock ledges and cooling off in deep crevices or under shady fig trees in the heat of summer.
Every three months for one year you will receive two emails from the Friends of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby – one has spy camera photos of me and other adopted Kangaroo Valley Rock wallabies and the other is a newsletter update. Please stay in touch and re-adopt me in one years’ time to help keep my endangered joeys safe from European foxes and feral cats.