These seven western quolls (yes, that”s their real name…) from Australia needed a new home after their mother was killed by a feral cat. Otherwise, they would have died in the wild.
That”s when the Adelaide Zoo stood up to lend a helping hand and act as the surrogate mother to the young quolls.
Nursed from a young age to maturity, this program was made possible due to an initiative to reintroduce young quolls to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia.
Quolls are the largest carnivorous marsupials on the Australian mainland. Their numbers dwindled to dangerous portions in recent years across the continent, but even more so in this region.
That”s what makes rescue and nursing efforts like those at Adelaide Zoo so important.
When the baby quolls were discovered and delivered to the Adelaide Zoo, they were dehydrated and had minor muscle tremors.
All babies recovered after they were hand fed with high-energy kangaroo milk every four hours.
The staff also worked hard to ensure they learned the skills necessary to survive in the wild, and not to become domesticated. This was no small task, considering their cuteness.
According to park rangers, “[T]hey will go into a soft release cage, or a pen, which is a fairly large area where they can get used to the quiet and the smells. Then they”ll be relocated to another area, and tracked for some time after that [before being released back into the wild].”
(via The Guardian)
Once the quolls are reintroduced to the wild, rangers in the area will do their best to observe their progress. Considering that their species was roughly extinct in the region for the last 130 years, it”s a sure bet they might need a little more help getting reacquainted with their neighbors. Regardless, we wish these little guys all the best. Good luck!