Hallo, this is Helene and Manfred from Forest Lodge Wildlife Care
We are wildlife carers for the last 30 years. We are looking after orphaned and injured animals and raise them to be released back into the wild. We mainly care for Gliders (Sugar Glider, Squirrel Glider, Yellow Bellied Glider, Greater Glider, Feather Tail Glider and also Ring Tail and Brush Tail Possums). And, for the last three seasons, we are also a release station for Fruit Bats.
We know that Fruit Bats often make people uneasy or even aggressive towards them. However, Fruit Bats are the most important nocturnal pollinators in Australia, which many farmers have recognised and found ways to protect their fruit crop without harming the animals.Arriving in Australia from Berlin some 33 years ago we soon became interested in the Australian wildlife. The local ranger told us that it was difficult for him to find foster carers for injured animals. So, because of our love for animals we started taking them in after acquiring the permits to care for wildlife.
We are lucky to live on a reasonably large property with natural bushland and forests which allow to soft release the animals. This means that we do not release the animals somewhere, set them free and hope they will be alright and survive.
If a colony of gliders is ready to be released we ‘soft’ release them by making a little opening in the wall of a release house to give the animals the chance to venture outside, get used to the new environment, but still be able to come back “home” until they eventually decide to stay out for good.
We have therefore built several release houses which are all up to 5 metres in height. Inside, these houses replicate the outside bush so the animals can learn or learn again to jump, glide, run, hide, climb, fly and find food - prerequisites for the survival in the wild.
The impact human society has on other living beings made us realise how important it is to preserve what we have got to counteract purposefully or unintentionally killings of other sentient beings.
If we want to live in a world not sterile and empty of animals (and plants for that matter), a totally new and different thinking and behaviour towards our environment seems to be necessary. In so far everyone of us needs to be a conservationist to protect the biodiversity of our planet. Each species that goes away means one less link in the ecological chain, minimally increasing environmental instability with disastrous consequences in the long term.