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11 July, 2020

New Kuranda home for wallabies

Last week Shai from the Agile Wallaby Project moved the first of her wallabies to Kuranda ahead of pre-release.

By Phil Brandel

Shai Ager from the Agile wallaby project has been fighting for her right to relocate wallabies from Trinity Park in Cairns for the past 3 years.

On Friday, June 10 she finally got the good news that she can start removing the wallabies from Cairns Northern Beaches “I can’t believe it after 3 years of fighting we have been given the green light it doesn’t seem real.”

Last week Shai moved the first of her wallabies to Kuranda ahead of pre-release.

The 15 Wallabies came into Shai’s care as joeys when their mothers were either chased by dogs or killed by bushfires.

For the past few months, Shai and her team at the Agile Wallaby project have been building enclosures for the Wallabies at Kuranda, ahead of their release into the surrounding area over the next few months.

The new enclosure was opened on Monday, June 6 and Shai said that she hopes the enclosure will be used for a long time. “With so many wallabies killed by cars and dogs around Trinity Beach we are planning on using this space for a long time to come.”

Shai first heard about the plight of the wallabies back in October 2017 when she found about the number of Wallabies that were being killed in and around the Captain Cook Highway near Trinity Beach.

After moving back to Cairns, Shai applied for a permit from the Department of Environment and Science (DES) to relocate some of the wallaby population.

The DES initially awarded the permit, but a couple of days before the relocation started DES retracted the permit, claiming it was awarded “erroneously”.

Last Year Shai took DES to court to reverse the decision and on May 1 of this year, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) found in favour of The Agile Project.

DES finally issued the permit to Shai and the Agile Project yesterday (June 10)

“The joey’s I have are not classed as being relocated, these joeys are being rehabilitated in Kuranda and we are releasing them into a nearby national park,” she said

“This is where they learn to be wallabies and where their natural instincts will kick in before they are released.”

The 15 wallaby babies have spent the past few months being taken care of by volunteer carers and are now able to roam freely on the enclosed property.

Petra Lovey offered the land on her property to the Agile Wallaby Project and she feeds the wallabies daily “I’m an ex-zoo keeper and I’ve always had a massive passion for native wildlife and considering the pressure they are under at the moment, I thought we have space and some knowledge so I felt like it was time to give something back, “she said

“We are surrounded by state forest and national park so this seems liked the perfect property to release the Agile Wallabies.

“We are on a hundred-acre property and donating some of the land for the wallabies just seemed like the right thing to do.”

One of the Agile Wallaby's set for release at Kuranda.

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