Scared Wallaby Kept Getting Stuck Deeper And Deeper In Quicksand
"He was trembling."
"I thought that during my 30 years of animal rescue work, I had been called to every rescue scenario imaginable," Manfred Zabinskas, co-owner of Five Freedoms Animal Rescue (FFAR) in Australia, wrote on Sunday. "But on Saturday, I added a new one to that list — quicksand."
A call came in for Zabinskas from a man named Henry who had already tried — and failed — to save the wallaby's life, despite two whole hours of trying.
"Henry himself got stuck and the two sank deeper and deeper during their struggle," Zabinskas wrote.
By the time the team from FFAR arrived, the wallaby was clearly exhausted — it almost looked like he'd given up.
But there was hope yet.
Rather than trying to enter the slippery pit — and risk getting stuck in the wet sand himself — Zabinskas used a special tool.
"I use a dog catching noose to extract the wallaby but it is important that I get the noose under his arms and not around his neck," he explained.
Even once the noose was in place, it required a massive amount of strength to pull the wallaby free from the quicksand.
"[It] required considerable force to break the suction of the mud," Zabinskas wrote. "The wallaby was completely coated in the black sludge and he was exhausted. He was trembling through a combination of fear and hypothermia and I took him home for an urgent cleanup."
Rinsed with nice warm water, the wallaby started to look like himself once again.
"Wow, there really was a wallaby under all that mud!" Zabinskas wrote.
Rescuers decided to name their newest patient in their wildlife hospital Gerry. "After Gerry Rafferty, one of the writers of 'Stuck in the Middle with You,'" Zabinskas explained. "And because he is a bit of a geriatric."
After his bath, Gerry was wrapped in fluffy towels.
Soon Gerry seemed to realize that he was in very good hands — and those hands brought him delicious food, too.
When he isn't waiting for his meals to be served to him, he's snuggling under some very cozy electric blankets.
Gerry deserves all the pampering he can get. "He is an old man wallaby with one eye gone, worn teeth and ears that depict many a battle had been fought," Zabinskas wrote.
When Gerry is fully recovered, he'll be released back into the wild.
The rescue organization takes its name from the five freedoms it believes animals are entitled to: Freedom from pain, injury and disease; freedom from fear and distress; freedom from discomfort; freedom to express normal behavior; and freedom from hunger and thirst.
Thanks to these kind people, Gerry got his life back — and his freedoms, too.