Native animals visit Resthaven Malvern
On 27 March, Resthaven Malvern residents enjoyed a visit from the ‘Warrawong 2U’ team, who brought with them a selection of native animals for residents to touch and hold during an informative, two-hour presentation.
‘This is just great for residents,’ said Lifestyle Coordinator, Felicity Billing, as she cuddled an orphaned baby wallaby.
‘Their faces really light up.’
Staff, volunteers and families were also enchanted, with passing visitors stopping to come in and join in the fun.
There were plenty of ‘ooh’s’ and ‘ah’s’ from guests as the animals were shown around the room.
Some animals, like the baby bandicoot and the ringtail possum, had residents vying for a pat. Residents were more hesitant with the albino carpet python, although some brave guests were happy to touch him as he curled around his handler’s shoulders.
‘He actually feels nice and smooth – I was expecting him to be slimy!’ said one surprised guest.
This was just one of the many misconceptions that the Warrawong crew were keen to talk about, relaying many interesting facts over the course of the presentation, including that possums who nest in roofs are almost always brushtails, not ringtails. Who would have known?
Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr John Wamsley. At its peak, it occupied 85 acres and housed a flourishing native Australian ecosystem. However, the owners ran into financial difficulty and were forced to sell, leaving 28 acres of land surrounded by feral-proof fencing. It was abandoned in 2013. David and Narelle, zoo owners in Western Australia, bought Warrawong in January 2017, and are currently attempting to restore it to its former glory.
Warrawong is not currently open to the public. However, the ‘Warrawong2U’ program aims to give access to the native animals, some of which are endangered, to build public understanding, and raise much-needed funds to complete the restoration.
The current owners plan to re-open Warrawong to the public in late 2018.
Thank you for your visit!
Resthaven Malvern is just one of Resthaven’s eleven residential care homes across metropolitan Adelaide, Murray Bridge, Port Elliot and Mount Gambier. A twelfth home at Aberfoyle Park will open in mid-2018.
Resthaven also supports older people living independently in their own homes through our community services sites, located throughout metropolitan Adelaide, Murraylands, Fleurieu, Riverland and Limestone Coast.