Like the animals themselves, visitors feel relaxed and at peace amongst the tall timber and grassy clearings which provide a natural habitat for a wide range of Tasmanian native species. You won’t find exotic animals here, the only non-Tasmanian natives being the cute and cuddly Koalas which are bred at Trowunna as an insurance population, away from the diseases which can affect them in their mainland environment.
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A sanctuary for wildlife
More than just a wildlife park, Trowunna is a wildlife sanctuary and many of the animals and birds which roam freely everywhere have declined to leave after rescue and rehabilitation, or have simply invited themselves in. Their contentment is obvious, as friendly kangaroos, including mothers with joeys peeking out of their pouches, get up close and personal with visitors. Some of the animals, of necessity, are contained within enclosures, including Wombats, Quolls and, of course, fiery Tasmanian Devils, but some of these too can be seen at close range and even patted during park tours and feeding sessions throughout the day.
Unseen by visitors, at night the park comes alive with smaller mammals, enjoying the safe environs of the sanctuary. Birds also abound in the park, undisturbed by predators such as cats which are not welcome at Trowunna, and you will see large numbers of Green Rosellas, only found in Tasmania, which flock to the park to enjoy its hospitality.
And more besides
As well as caring for injured native animals and birds, Androo Kelly and his dedicated staff perform a vital role in the fight to save the Tasmanian Devil and ensure this amazing creature survives the facial tumor disease which has wiped out huge numbers of Devils over the past few years. This is one of the serious aspects of Trowunna’s activities and, as well, industry recognition has led to Trowunna becoming a training centre for animal handlers and keepers from around Australia.
Androo also starred in the intriguing short wildlife ‘mystery’, The Case of the Baby Faced Assassin, and activities at Trowunna over a period of several months are encapsulated in the film Devil Diary. And Androo’s take on the question of whether the Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger might still exist somewhere in the wilds of Tasmania? Well, as a practical and dedicated wildlife carer, he won’t be drawn on the subject, preferring to concentrate on ensuring the survival of the species which are known to definitely exist.
Tales from Trowunna
When you join one of Trowunna’s daily tours, you will not only learn something about Tasmania’s unique wildlife but also hear some of the stories which inspire Androo and his team.
Tales like that of the injured female White Goshawk which, unable to fly, was housed at Trowunna in a specially made wooden cage – a relatively natural construction which made her feel more at home than a wire cage. This beautiful creature never regained the ability to fly but after some time in captivity attracted the attention of a wild suitor, which wooed her over a period of three years, during which time the cage was opened up to allow the two birds to interact.
Eventually the wild male started the construction of a nest which, without the help of his incapacitated mate, took two years to complete. When the nest was ready, the female managed to work her way up to it and eventually produced two clutches of eggs before she died. Offspring of this heartwarming romance still call the park home.