Wal­laby’s unique lake res­cue

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page -

What was go­ing to be an­other nor­mal day at the Mul­wala Wa­ter Ski Club Pro-Shop for Peter O’Neill quickly turned into an un­usual wildlife res­cue.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing a coach­ing class with a lo­cal school group the ski club pro­fes­sional no­ticed some­thing un­usual swim­ming out in the lake.

“I looked out and saw what I thought was a dog strug­gling in the wa­ter about 300 me­ters from the shore.

“I quickly climbed on to one of my pad­dle­boards and af­ter tak­ing 10 min­utes to get out there I re­al­ized it was a black wal­laby.”

Pete’s nat­u­ral in­stincts then kicked in. He grabbed his ski tow rope, har­nessed it around him­self and the wal­laby and then be­gan to tow the weak­ened mar­su­pial back to shore.

“It was re­ally ex­hausted. When I got to it, it was just try­ing to keep its head above wa­ter.

“It took about a half an hour to get him back to shore.

“When I got him back to the boat ramp we put a towel over him to free the rope and he just strug­gled to stand up and sat in the one spot for over an hour.”

Pete rang the lo­cal wildlife res­cue ser­vice but be­fore they could ar­rive the wal­laby even­tu­ally re­gained its en­ergy and bounded away.

“He did a lap of the ski club, al­most like it was a lap of honor. He then pro­ceeded into the hol­i­day park. But we haven’t spot­ted him since.”

A sug­ges­tion to Peter that the wal­laby might have wanted to try out for the up­com­ing sum­mer ski shows came with a quick re­sponse.

“If he wants to come back he could cer­tainly try out,” Peter joked.

The wal­laby even­tu­ally re­gained its en­ergy be­fore jump­ing to free­dom through the hol­i­day park.

Peter O’Neill used a ski tow rope to bring the ex­hausted wal­laby 300 me­ters back to shore.

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