Click on the photo above to visit another Wombat site
I just wish you could all have seen us last night. Porscha lives in a house on several acres of paddock, she doesn't own the place but has to pay rent and the rates for it. Behind the house is a big stable block, and every loose-box has been converted to a wildlife rescue home. Deep hay covers the floor, water bowls are clean and secure, feeding trays are kept spotless, and in the corners are small enclosed kennels lined with blankets and sacks, making temporary burrows for the wombats. On some of the walls there are hanging bags, lined with sheepskin, which act as pouches for baby kangaroos that she rescues.
When we arrived with Forrest last night, Porscha was sitting on a haybale, bottle-feeding another baby wombat of about the same age and size as Forrest. This one was sucking vigorously, her little paws squeezing and opening like any contented baby, as she lay against Porscha, wrapped in a bunnyrug. Baby wombats bond very quickly with their handlers, and this one clearly has built trust in Porscha in less than a week.
I am sure Forrest will do the same once he is through the next few days. He has a wound on his back, possibly a bite from an adult wombat, and we hope this will not become septic.
Stress is a big killer of our native animals, often more so than starvation. Had we not managed to catch Forrest yesterday, there is no way he could have survived many more days on his own.
Oh, and for those who politely enquired what a hoon is (thank you Jack & Riley & Rose); well, a hoon is a nasty piece of (human) work, one who doesn't give a damn about anything or anyone. If it moves, kill it. If it grows, chop it down. That is the creed of a hoon.
But as always, the Airedale Community of the world helps us all to rise above the hoons of the world, and guides us as always in the creed of "let's make a difference".
Bless you all, you are the BEST.
More on Forrest tonight, please keep sending AireZen for him as he fights to survive.
Friday, Sue writes:
It's Friday night here in Oz, and all day I have been reading emails from so many of you, all across the world. Your outpouring of love and concern and dollars for this tiny baby wombat would astonish the most world-weary of journalists in search of a story of human compassion.
You are all the greatest and most generous of individuals and - as we all so often say to each other - the best family imaginable. I wish I could hug every single one of you. Please take it that you have been hugged, and that my thanks are for each of you. I may not get a chance to write to you all individually.
Unable to wait out the entire day for a report from Porscha about Forrest, I phoned her at 2 this afternoon. Her voice contained a mixture of caution and hopefulness. Caution because his wound is deeper than we first thought, right to the spinal cord. A mystery indeed, as it is not a tooth gash from an adult wombat; the horrifying thought is that it may be a gunshot wound, though no bullet was found. Either way, it is deeply infected and required powerful antibiotic immediately.
Porscha has nursed him all day in a pouch around her waist, so that he can feel the bodily contact so fundamental to his well-being at this fragile stage of life. She has fed him tiny sips of formula at frequent intervals to attempt a kickstart to his system, and to give him a sense of 'hunger'. She has kept him warm and secure, nestled in his bunnyrug, and the depth of love in her voice as she spoke about him had me in tears.
There is hopefulness too, though. Having survived a fortnight on his own shows he is one tough little fighter. What Porscha can do, if anyone can, is give him even stronger reason to live. And as we all know, the will to live is as vital as the best of medical care.
When I told her of the hundreds of Airedale friends across the world who have Forrest in their thoughts, and of the many who have donated dollars for him and his companions, she was astounded. Thank you a million times, dear friends, for the faith and love and generosity you are showering on this
adorable scrap of life.
At eight o'clock tonight, the phone rang again. I ran to it, but dreaded picking it up. It was Porscha. Despite the bright note in her voice, it took me some moments to comprehend that she was saying "good news". Forrest had just finished an entire 50 ml bottle of formula, hadn't spilled a drop, and was wanting more, please. Ever so carefully, she is regulating his intake, not to overstress his little stomach.
He is swaddled in a blanket and tucked onto a heat pad to keep his body temperature slightly elevated than normal. He is in danger of hypothermia and also pneumonia, but by being in the pouch all day, the movement is helping his lungs expel some fluid, she said. He's coughing a little, but that is good.
The next 48 hours are the critical ones. If he succeeds in feeding strongly tonight and tomorrow, the risk of succumbing to infection and/or pneumonia will be lessened. We are allowed to visit him tomorrow, so if possible we'll take some photos for you all to see.
Please keep him in your thoughts - already you have worked the Airedale miracle with him, and some more of that strong AireZen will keep the bad fairies away.
Thank you all so very much. You are the wind beneath our wings. You are wonderful.