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Byron Shire
May 24, 2022

Cute ’coots need protection

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Thank you to the Echonetdaily for the very interesting article on the life of bandicoots by Mary Gardner.

I too have a fondness for these gentle creatures. I often see them on the roads as I drive home after dark and smile at their cute hopping, jumping gait, and never try to hurry them out of my way, but instead slow to a speed more like theirs as they disappear from the bitumen to the diminishing bush at the road side.

My dogs like to terrorise bandicoots at night and they have managed to chase one into the pool. It was safe there away from the dogs, although wet (they remained on the outside of the pool fence). But it wasn’t able to climb out of the pool and was in panic, doing laps around it until I reached in and grabbed it. It didn’t struggle or attempt to defend itself as I placed it on the dry ground where it gathered its senses and, after a few minutes, made its escape into the bush while I held the now-chastised dogs back.

These days, before the dogs go outside prior to going to bed, there’s a quick search around the area to allow the bandicoots time to scurry away from danger. These few minutes also give me time to see what else is sharing our area; frequently there are carpet snakes, night tigers and possums and a never-ending number of insects which are not seen or noticed otherwise. It’s like a different world – and just as fascinating – during the evening.

 

Phil Owens, Dungay.


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