‘Bilby Brother’ stud­ied animal for years

Western Times - - NEWS -

YOU’D be hard pressed to find some­one more pas­sion­ate about bil­bies than Peter McRae.

Mr McRae is one of two ‘Bilby Brothers’, with the other be­ing Frank Man­they.

They both worked for the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment in a con­ser­va­tion role, de­vel­op­ing and build­ing up a small pop­u­la­tion of the en­dan­gered animal in Charleville.

“I started breed­ing bil­bies in Charleville 30 years ago, back when peo­ple didn’t know what a bilby was,” Mr McRae said.

“We started get­ting in­ter­est from the kids and the peo­ple from town and now it’s grown in to some­thing re­ally big.”

Mr McRae at­tended the sec­ond an­nual Fur Ball in Charleville on Satur­day.

He said events like the ball were im­por­tant in en­sur­ing the sur­vival of the species.

“There’s some­thing like 98% of the pop­u­la­tion of bil­bies that have dis­ap­peared,” he said.

“It’s im­por­tant to not only raise funds but also aware­ness of the bilby.”

Mr McRae has ded­i­cated a large por­tion of his life to study­ing the animal and said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I loved be­ing out in the desert study­ing the bil­bies,” he said.

“It’s been a pretty spe­cial life.”


BILBY HERO: Tracy Wattz and Bilby Brother Peter McRae.

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