Southern Giant Petrel Wallaby Creek Wildlife Shelter

To: "Birding- aus" <>
Subject: Southern Giant Petrel Wallaby Creek Wildlife Shelter
From: "Shirley Cameron" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 16:51:31 +1000
I have the permission of Annie & Old Bill Fraser to copy their story of the

Zoë, a young Vet from Timboon had  a distressed bird delivered to her. It
had been found on the beach near Peterborough near Curdies estuary. Annie
tells of the daily activities " while in our care,(after its initial ICU
treatment in the confines of the laundry/bathroom)- consisted of outdoor
activity on the lawn in the yard during day, at least two 'swims' in the
bath, lots of feeding, and a great deal of walking, stretching of wings and
legs, jumping, preening, sleeping, sunning and a very good relationship with
the Lady of the House.  Unfortunately the Gentleman of the House was not so
highly regarded and bears the scars to prove it!
......We are beside the Wallaby Creek which flows into the  Curdies  below
us.  The beach is about half a kilometre...(as the petrel flies) south of
here.  The petrel had a separate locking shed at night as double protection
from foxes.
Day 1.  7th May  3.30pm  call from Vet  Zoë  large bird delivered. ID
confirmed 'Southern Giant Petrel' Weight  1900grams, apparently starved &
exhausted.  Put in a dark, blanketed box in lounge and covered completely.
8pm.  Peeped in, fast asleep. ( Pipette with electrolytes very successful)
Offered pilchard, V keen, had fun pulping pilchards as I watched.  I offered
a wet flannel to wipe his bill ..he put his head on side as if to say " wipe
it here "  seemed to enjoy it

Day 2  2am
 After much noisy thumping and bumping, I put him in the shower recess so he
could stretch and move more....took more fluid and fish.
...Let walk around laundry.  Fed pilchards then offered squid & fresh fish.
All food soaked in salted (iodised) water prior to feeding

Day 4  Tied great slab of chicken to post and he ripped it off in hunks...
very ferocious to watch but still a 'pussycat' to us.  Still eats bits of
meat handed to him as well

Day 6  Opened pen so he had free range... wandered everywhere in yard, about
size of 3 suburban blocks.  He returned to pen occasionally thru the day.
Mat me a I approached with food!

Day 9  Still eating well.  Still exploring. Trying little hops, jumps and
wingflaps.  Getting picky about company, not so keen on being picked up and
put in bath.  Eating extremely well.  Wont leet us get close.  Moves off if
we approach.

Day 10  I rang the two biologists to come and see him as I suspect he will
leave soon.  Helen & Chris help weigh him  2500grams.. and he is NOT a

Day 11  He is not happy.  He wont eat.  He paces, runs, jumps, marches round
like a mad duck...put him in bath and he drank freely amidst much wing
flapping and swishing.
3-30 take food out again ...he is not to be found !!  We two aged pensioners
could be seen crawling under bushes, scrambling under scrub in soaking rain
as a south west squall hits the state.."
Annie & Old Bill  are at the Wallaby Creek Wildlife Shelter
RMB 4294 Peterborough Rd.,
TIMBOON  3268  and are happy for me to pass that info. on through

Shirley Cameron

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