Twelve Days of Christmas 

Our gift to you

As we head into the season of giving, we are celebrating with the “Twelve Days of Conservation Christmas’. The Tasmanian Walking Company Foundation partnered with some incredible charities this year and we’re excited to share some of their conservation efforts with you. Let’s kick off with our nine-day support of Bonorong Wildlife Hospital’s 24-hour emergency service sponsored by our guests and staff. 


Stories of joy from the Tasmanian wilderness


Day One

On the first day of Conservation Christmas… meet Ringo! A Short Beaked Echidna who was found with a thick plastic ring wrapped around and cutting into his beak, restricting his ability to eat. After transferring to the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Critical Care team, Ringo underwent surgery to remove the ring. The team are confident he will make a speedy recovery and be back out digging for ants in his native habitat again soon.

Ringo was one of 46 calls for help that day including six other Echidnas!

  • Did you know?

    Echidnas are actually named after “Eckidna” a creature from Greek mythology who was renowned as the “Mother of Monsters”, believed to be half woman and half snake. They ended up with the name as the animal was perceived by scientists early on to have both reptilian and mammalian features, just like their namesake.

Day Two

On the second day of Conservation Christmas we met Clyde, the Bennets Wallaby Joey who was found after his mother was sadly hit by a car. A thorough assessment by the Bonorong team found he had a damaged tail which required surgery. The surgery went well and the team at Bonorong are optimistic about releasing him back into the wild in the future.

Today, Bonorong received 60 calls for help for Tasmanian wildlife in need

  • Did you know?

    Bennetts Wallabies are a largely solitary species, although loose mobs of up to 30 individuals may congregate to feed, the groups are not well defined and will frequently change. Most macropods have either 32 or 34 teeth.


Day Three

On day three, among 63 calls to Bonorong, we were introduced to Rubix a juvenile Southern Brown Bandicoot who came into their care after being attacked by a cat. Fortunately, his wounds were mostly superficial but he was also found to have a hernia which required surgery. His recovery has been smooth sailing, so he is expected to be re-released within a few weeks. 

  • Did you know?

    the Southern Brown Bandicoot can turn over an average of 10 kilograms of soil per day whilst looking for food. That’s quite the workout for these little critters!

Day Four 

Meet Foxy! the small but mighty Common Ringtail Possum. She was one of 50 calls for help in the day and was found in Hobart CBD with suspicions she'd been hit by a car. However, after a thorough examination, she was found without injury and was subsequently re-realised a few days later. 

  • Did you know?

    Ringtail Possums produce faecal pellets throughout the day, which they consume and digest again? Talk about reuse and recycle!

Brown falcon

Day Five

On the fifth day of Conservation Christmas, Karliah the Brown Falcon was found late one night in the middle of the road a suspected car hit. She was taken straight to Bonorong Wildlife Hospital where it was discovered she had minor injuries to her left wing and a fracture to her beak. She will remain in the Sanctuary for 2-3 months while this heals but has made excellent progress from supported back to independent feeding.

  • Did you know?

    Raptor Refuge is another one of our charity partners that does incredible work, helping to care for injured and in-danger raptors in Tasmania. With so many rescued raptors, they outgrew their space and with the help of organisations such as the Tasmanian Walking Company Foundation they opened a new enclosure this year to help continue their important work.


Day Six

By day six, Bonorong had taken nearly 347 calls for injured wildlife. Among the rescued was Blue-tongue Lizard, Rio who was found lethargic and weak. He was admitted to Bonorong Wildlife Hospital weighing a mere 14g. The critical care team provided TLC and warmth, and Rio is now bright and active. He'll be released when the weather gets warmer and he's built up his strength.

  • Did you know?

    Blue-tongues are ready to care for themselves straight after birth venturing into the big wide world on their own after a short few days! 


Day Seven

Marcia, the Tawny Frogmouth, was found after a suspected car hit. Following a thorough exam, the team at Bonorong Wildlife Hospital found Marcia had bilateral ocular trauma & minor bruises. Her left eye had extensive trauma & reduced vision in the right. After a couple of weeks, her left eye was declared blind. Due to this, she will become a permanent but happy resident at the Sanctuary. On the seventh day of Conservation Christmas, there were 72 calls to the Bonorong hotline.

  • Did you know?

    Tawny Frogmouths hold a place in human folklore, because they are active at night and have had many humans experience their haunting call, some people have traditionally associated them with bad omens and death 

Day Eight 

Waddy the Aussie Wood Duck had a rough start after being hit by a car & wedged in the grill. She got rushed to the Bonorong Wildlife Hospital for assessment & kept her appetite throughout rehab. Waddy's wings look great & her wound is healing nicely. She's a great candidate for release & we can't wait to see her journey continue!

  • Did you know?

    Australian Wood Ducks are highly social in nature and have been known to form flocks of 2,000 or more individuals. They walk easily on land and may be seen perching on logs and in trees. They will only take to open water when disturbed. This species is also known as the Maned Duck or the Maned Goose.


Day Nine 

On the last day of our partnership with Bonorong's wildlife hospital they had 65 calls for injured wildlife in Tasmania “Spork” the Eastern Rosella was found at the Queens Domain in Hobart, after likely being hit by a vehicle. Spork was found sitting in the middle of the road by a member of the public, who promptly called the Bonorong Rescue line. Spork was transported to the Bonorong Wildlife Hospital, where our veterinary team later found that he had a closed fracture to part of his right wing (proximal ulna) and a wound to one toe that had become swollen. Spork was started on a course of medication including anti-inflammatories, pain relief and antibiotics and has been placed on cage rest with our Critical Care team to rest his wing. He will then move to the Rehab to Release team for flight training before being released back to the wild.  

  • Did you know?

    Rosellas have a different call depending if in flight or perched. When roosted it's a pi-pi-pi-pi and when flying its kwik, kwik, kwik. Rosellas typically nest in hollows in old Gum trees, although nests have been found in old, rotting logs lying on the ground as the loss of old trees is creating a shortage of suitable sites.

Day Ten

On the 10th day of Conservation Christmas, we celebrate our partnership with WWF-Australia. Tas Walking Co Foundation has donated $200,000 to Regenerate Australia through our Walk for Wild events. One of our favourite projects was the Greater Gliders in Victoria where 120 hi-tech nest boxes have been deployed. This nocturnal folivore is under extinction pressure from habitat destruction - the shortage of tree hollows after the 2019/20 bushfires is crucial to their survival and these nest boxes will mimic tree hollows providing an alternative shelter while their habitat regenerates.

  • Did you know?

    Gliders can glide up to a hundred metres or more between scattered trees.

Image copyright : WWF Australia

Day Eleven 

The brush-tailed bettongs has been extinct in South Australia for more than 100 years! We supported WWF-Australia’s Regenerate Australia project that saw the release of 120 bettongs at two sites in the Yorke Peninsula. Recent health checks found all animals caught in good condition, including eight females carrying young. Incredibly bettongs once occupied more than 60% of mainland Australia but introduced predators like feral cats and foxes, and habitat loss has pushed the species to the brink of extinction!

Image credit: WWF Australia

  • Did you know?

    These small marsupials play a crucial role in their habitat by actively foraging for fungi and truffles, and in the process, they help disperse seeds and contribute to the health of the ecosystem. The intricate relationship between brush-tailed bettongs and their environment showcases the important role even small creatures play in maintaining the balance of ecosystems.

Day Twelve: Dean's Tassie Devil Rescue

To conclude our twelve days of inspiring stories, we present a tale that hits close to home. Dean had the fortunate opportunity to encounter a distressed devil while leading the Bay of Fires Signature Walk. Seeing a devil out during the day is an unusual sighting, so he immediately thought something must be wrong. As they approached the devil it lay down, and they were able to see it had a significant open wound on one of its hind legs. Dean was able to contain the devil and transport him to the lodge where he was held overnight before being taken down to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, to receive treatment and care.  

As a part of our ongoing guide training, we offer our staff the opportunity to undertake wildlife rescue training at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. This makes the world of difference in situations like these when our guides can help save the life of a sick or injured animal in their time of need.

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