Miss My Sammy Boy

After the swampies came Sam was alone and I had him back in the smaller pen in the house paddock. I felt very sorry that he was alone . Jo, one of my very capable  colleagues who lives in Singleton and cares for many macropods offered to give me two greys that were around the 4500gram weight. Smaller than Sam who about 6500 grams at this stage ,but they would have been O.K. I was to nervous to bring any more greys here at that time so I declined , now I think I should have ……… I tried introducing Sammy to the swampies.Sammy seemed to like them but they were so small by comparison and they were nervous when he was around .They clearly speak a different language .If I took Sam into the pen they would become unsettled so I decided it wasn’t a good idea. Sam wasn’t locked up during the day if I was home  and he knew when I would go into the swampies to feed them. I often tried to sneak in but he always sniffed me out and he would hop around the outside. It was sometimes distressing for me and clearly for Sam but I thought once I came out and took him off for a nice long bush walk which he loved he would be fine.

Sam bush walk march 2022

It did appear that he was O.K. as he continued to thrive and looked beautiful and healthy. By the end of March Sam was almost 10kilo.

Sam March 2022

Suddenly he  began to show signs of decline .It started by not drinking all his milk. As he was almost 10kilo and I thought he was weaning (I’ve never had a grey that weaned themselves before but had heard that it does happen) A week later and he wasn’t drinking at all .I thought maybe thrush but wasn’t really convinced. .I tried Nilstat for 4 days but no improvement and in that short time he was eating hardly any grass and no support food. I got a gram stain done and found he had intestinal thrush. Treated with fluconazole as per directions for macropods. Despite that treatment he became thinner and weaker ,lost 2.5 kilo in a matter of days and refused to eat at all. I tried various foods  with a syringe .

Beautiful Sam sleeping in the sun March 2022

Sam sick , lost condition , quickly. He was very thirsty but could hardly stand and hop by now.

Ted continued to do gram stains and no thrush was eventually present in his poo. Ted could hear his heart was not beating as it should. He could hardly stand and also developed mild inhalation pneumonia even though I had tried to be very careful. He received a 3 day acting antibiotic injection but showed no improvement and still refused to eat. The day he died he could not stand . Ted did a post mortem which showed vitamin E deficiency, pneumonia in his lungs and white muscle disease due to lack of exercise. Kidney and liver O.K. at that stage. He had extremely bad thrush at the very back of his tongue. In conclusion I believe that due to lack of experience I did not pick up he was sick when he stopped drinking all his milk. If I had and acted sooner I may have saved him. Also he must have been very stressed without me realizing. Stress is a bad enemy of greys.He had to be moved to a smaller pen when the others in his group got cocci and died but he still had a friend then who I thought was going to pull through but she didn’t. I used to take him walking and he was semi free range spending lots of time in the house yard and bush walking with me.Lots of red-kneck wallabies live in and around our house paddock so Sam did have other macropods around all the time. Red-necks and greys can be raised in an enclosure together .I could sometimes hear Sam running up and down the outside of the swampie enclosure when I was in there. It must have been more stressing for him than I realised. I feel absolutely wretched and in hindsight can see all the things I did wrong. It never crossed my mind that a 10 kilo grey looking so robust would get thrush . If I had taken the 2 smaller greys from Jo maybe things would have turned out better but the fear of them getting cocci also kept me from bringing them here.

last picture of Sammy

Sam could have picked up thrush from spores but I think given what he had been through , losing all his friends and Nikki who he had been with since about 2 kilo then having to share me with the swampies was to much stress. I probably should have just kept him and given him total attention.I did my best and nursed him around the clock for the last 3 weeks but it was not good enough.

Sammy died on Mon 4th April 2022. I still feel so very sad when I think of him, frequently. I miss him. I’m so sorry beautiful boy.

(apologies to Frederic Weatherly)

I used to sing this to Sammy when we were walking /hopping

Oh, Sammy boy, the Bucks , the Bucks are callingFrom glen to glen, and down the mountain side.The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling,It’s you, it’s you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow,Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snowI’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow,Oh, Sammy  boy, oh Sammy boy, I love you so!

My Beautiful Sammy




Kashik Kadifie and Kei come to live at Wombat Creek

19 Jan 2022 – 3 Swamp Wallabies  were coming to us from Judy –  Hunter Wildlife .

Only two ended up here on that day as Kei had a broken foot which had still not healed and had to stay in smaller confinement with Judy till her foot healed. Kashik, a male  weighed  2820grams and Kadifie ,a female 2890grams.

Kashik with mum Judy on intake.

Finally some hair.







They were drinking milk  morning and evening. Swamp Wallabies eat native browse so a bucket in the centre of the shed was set up full of all the clippings they like to eat. Some favourites are Casuarina,  Kurrajong and   Melaleuca. Their top favourite is River Willow  considered a notorious pest by some but has another role now. As the climate has got warmer for temperature-sensitive animals, their dense, leafy canopy may make willows the lesser of two evils .

Is that all for us?

May as well tuck in then.

I had never had Swampies in care before so wasn’t sure what to expect. These two were going into the large pen that the Greys had been in when they got cocci. Swampies are not susceptible to cocci like Greys which is why I agreed to take them.

The pen had been set up for Greys so it was fortunate Judy came and explained Swamp Wallaby  behaviour.

Kashik & Kadifie

We immediately had to completely fill in any gaps , tiny as they were, under gates or at the sides off. These little creatures are fast and expert escape artists,  also experts at hiding. Consequently the pen should be set up so they have “hides” and ideally  should have long grasses. The grass in the pen was short, ideal for grazing greys. Larry constructed some hides and dragged enormous logs into the pen for them to jump on and over. Once the grass grew they loved it and began hiding under it and could not be found if that’s what they choose!!

The fences surrounding the pen are 6′  high and the gate which closes off the smaller area to the large pen is 4′. The pen is approx. 75metres square.When the 4′ gate is closed the area encompassing the shed is approx. 30x15metres. Their shed in this area  approx. 6×3 metres. Initially we kept them in the part of the pen which housed their shed and could be closed off by the 4′ gate. This was until they accepted me as mum and would come from the larger area once they heard me come in with their bottles. It took a couple of weeks and they settled in well then had the run of the entire pen coming to their shed for bottles or almonds! All macropods and wombats we have had in care love raw almonds. They also had a hide in the shed which was a table with a large towel draped around it! Kashik used the table top more to leap up and down rather than the hide , show off!

Do ya think I’m cute?

Eventually Kei’s foot healed with Judy’s patient TLC. Judy was worried about Kei coming as she had been confined for so long and had not been able to be transferred at the correct time. Would the other 2 accept her again as part of the group and how would she adjust to me being older than desirable for a carer change?The 1st of March Judy came with Kei and stayed a couple of nights to try and get her settled.The 3 of them were all around 3500 grams at the time .They were all still drinking morn & eve bottles. We closed off the gate thinking it would be best to keep Kei in the smaller area to begin with so we could see her .We thought Kashik & Kadifie wouldn’t like being confined   to the smaller area but they seemed fine. Kei wouldn’t come near  Judy after she was set free in there.Judy tried everything to get her to drink her bottle but she refused.There was lots of grass and native browse in there so we thought she would be O.K. Lots of people wean their macropods before I do. I prefer to keep them drinking their formula for as long as possible as I believe it’s good for them. After a couple of days  Judy had to leave and trusted I would do my best with Kei. Once Judy had gone  the heavy rain started, thunder booming and lightning striking for a couple of days and nights.Swampies don’t mind the wet   but they are startled by loud noises.When I went in the next day, no Kei!. She had obviously jumped the 4 ft gate . I did find her after  extensive searching and spent the next week crawling around on my belly to make sure I wasn’t a tall intimidating figure, with outstretched arm holding her milk bottle toward her. After persevering she accepted the bottle and loved drinking her milk again. I can’t say it was a very comfortable experience for me but it paid off and a week later she was coming to the shed with the other 2 for her milk and accepted me as her carer. Bribing her with almonds helped!! I have to say it made me happy and I felt pleased with my efforts.Occasionally they were allowed a bad treat!

Forbidden bread!

Just around this time my Sammy became very ill. A terrible time which I will write about in my next post.

By mid April the 3 Ks all aprox. 5650grams , all still on morn & eve milk but no longer liked being picked up and weighed.

By mid June they were only on a small amount of evening milk then a couple of weeks totally  weaned.All around the 7kilo mark and ready to go free.

Big juvenile, ready to go.

I released them early in July .Kashik hung around for a day then disappeared. The girls never left the pen till night time and we never saw them after that for about 4 weeks.





One morning I looked out the window and there was 1 of them in the front yard. I went out with almonds and called .It was Kei and she came over to me and ate several almonds. I had a repeat that eve and the next morning but havent seen her since.

Kei visits – Would you like some almonds?

Yes please, yum ,yum , missed my almonds!









We have spotted another one in the adjoining paddock and Larry saw two of them at dusk moving like streaked lightning past the front of the house and enter their old pen.All the gates are open so they can come and go as they please. They are obviously all thriving and enjoying their return to the wild.!