The definition of Trowunna is 1. Heart-shaped island home 2. A wildlife sanctuary.
Trowunna: Wild at Heart
by Carol Haberle
1892 Mole Creek Road is the location of Trowunna, a wildlife park with a difference, where animal carers certainly have big hearts! 65 acres of sanctuary, a natural safe haven for our native Tasmanian wildlife. Trowunna Wildlife Park is privately owned, with a primary goal of wildlife conservation and education.
Trowunna is a safe haven for all kinds of native fauna that pass through the region. Here at Trowunna, one can simply wander at their own leisure, or take a guided interactive tour with one of the knowledgeable staff and be given the opportunity to pat a Tasmanian Devil, hold an orphaned wombat and see the Tasmanian Devils at feed time, truly an experience worth watching!
Natural Tasmanian Habitat
The park is representative of the natural habitat in which our unique wildlife lives… towering eucalypts and acacias, native flora within a mixed sclerophyll forest provide a home for kangaroos, pademelons, wallabies, potoroos and wombats, all of which can be seen roaming freely around the park.
Bird species include Wedge Tailed Eagles, Kookaburras, Goshawk, Falcon, Honey Eaters, Wrens and Rosella, some of which live in specially made enclosures, others which fly in and out freely, often nesting within the park’s forest or returning to enclosures from which they are free to come and go. Alpine grasslands also provide for wombats, wallabies, kangaroos, reptiles and birdlife, while shrub-land gives cover for potoroos and pademelons.
Frog in a Pond
At the top of the park is located an amphibian habitat, wetlands which consist of waterways that lead to a lake. The amphibian habitat is home to five different species of frogs, the Eastern Banjo frog, Brown Tree frog, Common froglet, Spotted Marsh frog and the Tasmanian froglet. The lake is home to water fowl, ducks, geese and swans, and from here can be seen magical views to Quamby Bluff, and Mother Cummings Peak in the Great Western Tiers. Specially designed enclosures also house many animals including birds, echidnas, Tasmanian devils, quolls and wombats.
Putting the Wild into Wildlife
Trowunna staff also care for injured and orphaned wildlife, with the park becoming a release site for many of these animals. The process is called ‘soft release’, where the animal is cared for and rehabilitated, after which time the animal is released and allowed to roam freely within the park while their progress is closely monitored. Only when they are sure wild instinct has returned, is the animal then released back into the wild.
Being released back into the wild after this process has proved to be much more successful than ‘hard release’ whereby the animal is released straight into the wild after rehabilitation. Hard release proves to be unsuccessful due the injured or orphaned animal having lost some of it’s wild instinct. Some animals are unable to be released back into the wild, and these are given quality of life and a safe haven at Trowunna for their entire life span.
For conservation efforts, Trowunna are very active in breeding programmes for animals that are becoming threatened in the wild, most notably, the Tasmanian Devil. Trowunna has shown to be the most successful place for the breeding and management of Tasmanian Devils, sharing their success and knowledge through their Tasmanian Devil training courses. They also run devil care courses for zoo operators the world over. Androo Kelly (owner/operator of Trowunna) and his dedicated team of staff are performing a vital role in the fight to save our Tasmanian Devil, in helping to ensure the devil survives the facial tumour disease which so sadly threatens this species. Trowunna have been successfully breeding devils since 1985, and are active in other conservation projects such as quoll and wombat breeding programmes.
Waratha the Adopted Wombat
Kev and I visited Trowunna with a goal, we wanted to meet Waratha, a wombat our daughters adopted for me this year, being very aware of my love for wombats. Trowunna run an adoption programme, where for a donation of $50 you adopt an orphan animal in their care to help support the conservation programmes at Trowunna Wildlife Park. Your donation assists in veterinary assessments and supplies, food and husbandry requirements, building and upkeep of enclosures, breeding requirements, transportation, animal behaviour monitoring and valuable educational benefits. We achieved our goal, met Waratha, a beautiful 16 month old female wombat, an orphan who is now being very much loved and cared for, living a wonderful life in the safe haven of Trowunna!
Trowunna is a must visit, open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Interactive tours operate three times a day at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Barbecue and picnic facilities are available at the park, and make it a great place for a family day out. Relax and enjoy this unique natural sanctuary that is Trowunna Wildlife Park.
All photos strictly ©Carol Haberle, H&H Photography. You can follow Carol on Facebook at Haberle Photo Cards. Carol writes feature articles for this website about all things Tasmanian. If you’d like Carol to visit you, please contact Think Tasmania.