To accommodate Animals for rehabilitation
When we started to accommodate and care for wildlife we soon found that it is not enough to have an injured animal treated by a Vet, put in a cage, feed it and release it once the injury has healed.
An animal, having had a traumatic experience (being caught in barbed wire, brought in by a cat or dog, being made homeless because a tree it lived in was felled or knocked over by the wind etc) often needs quite some time to recover. This is when another problem appears:
The general rule is that it is best to release a recovered animal where it was found. This is because the animal is used to the territory, others accept it there and if the animal usually lives in a colony it is welcomed in again. However, if to much time has passed (around two weeks) the animal's scent has faded and it is not recognised anymore. Fights break out and the looser is the released animal. It gets killed by its own colony or driven out of its former territory. This might very well be happening too, if rescued animals are being released somewhere in the bush foreign to them.Following this line of thought it became obvious to us that, while a recovering animal needs to be in a save environment, it should at the same time have contact - though limited - to the outside world.
To achieve this the concept of "soft release" from purpose build release houses was developed. The inside of these houses should be designed to replicate the natural bush as closely as possible, while save contact to the outside world should be possible through the material the houses are enclosed with.
The picture shows how we started to built the first of our new glider enclosures which is connected to the deck of our house. Manfred is sitting on a tressel to fix one of the top beams. The picture shows also that this structure is two storeys high, which gives native trees enough room to grow in it.