After 6 years with us at Huon Bush Retreats, Rosie died this morning.
She had enjoyed a privileged life at the head of the wallaby mob. With the freedom to come and go as she pleased she would be seen wandering the village and no doubt roaming further.
Equally at home inside destroying the pot plants, or outdoors in the snow, Rosie was the easy one to tell from the other wallabies by the white spot on her left shoulder. Frequently bounding into reception to meet newly arriving guests, she was the wallaby most comfortable with strangers.
Rosie was raised a few km away at Crabtree. To prevent her wandering and being killed on the road, she had lived in a bird aviary. Arriving at HBR as an agoraphobic one year old, we transitioned her in the release pen, allowing her to meet the other wallabies through the wire. After a few days, we let her out, half expecting her to bound off into the wild and never be seen again. But after her first few hours of freedom, she wandered back and has been coming and going ever since.
Rosie raised two joeys who are now part of the wild mob, browsing the grasslands around the village.
The past year has seen her retain her position as head of the wallaby mob, but spending more time inside. Many days have been spent asleep on the sofa or by the fire, heading outside to do wallaby things each night.
Ten days ago, at the grand old age of 7, she became very lethargic, spending less time outside and rapidly losing weight. The last 3 days she has been totally dependent, struggling to eat and declining offers to go outside. Eventually too weak to stand up, last night was spent on the bed with us. Rosie died at 8 this morning.