Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Living out in the bush, we get our fair share of wildlife, both inside and outside the house. We get the occasional antechinus invasion. So once in awhile we do an ethnic cleansing. We set elliot traps at night and release the little buggers into the bushes near our driveway (which is the farthest we can get without crossing the road and without the need to go bush-bashing). Last week, early in the night we caught one in one of the traps laid out on the kitchen floor. As we had just come back from wildlife spotlighting around our yard, we made the usual decision to wait till morning to empty the trap.
The next morning I went to empty the elliot trap, but found to my dismay that the little bugger had managed to escape. But the poor thing had lost three of her babies in the process. So we had the hard decision to wrap them in paper towel and hope the mother came back for them or euthanase by freezing them. We decided to give the first one a go first.
That night we caught another one. We checked to see if it was the mother. It turned out that it was another female with a litter of her own. Her pouch was full, so there was little chance of her adopting the babies. We tried though. We put them together in a container, even though we knew that the likelihood for a positive outcome was low. The next morning we found out how low. The mother had killed and partially eaten one of the babies and then she escaped. But in the process she lost one her own babies. So then we had to make the tough decision to euthanase.
It's been quiet in the kitchen in the past few days. No droppings all over the kitchen of late, but that could all change soon!