One member of an adorable marsupial trio has been released into the Australian wild by the wildlife organization that rescued her.
Earlier this month Peggy the wombat (at right) was reintroduced to her natural habitat, and BBC’s Natural History Unit filmed the release. Peggy will be featured in a 2014 BBC documentary on orphaned wildlife.
“Peggy will be monitored quietly and from a distance,” said Alistair Brown, founder of Wild About Wildlife, the organization that rescued Peggy. “She will be provided with supplementary feed while she learns all about her new environment.”
Peggy and her friends — Anzac, a baby kangaroo, and Cupcake, a baby wallaby — made headlines when Wild About Wildlife posted photos of the unlikely trio. (You can see one of their famous baby photos above.)
Both Peggy and Anzac were 3 to 4 months old when their mothers were killed by vehicles. They were rescued by wildlife rehabilitators in the state of Victoria and even shared a pouch at the shelter.
Cupcake also lost her mother in an auto accident, and the 5-month-old wallaby joined Anzac and Peggy.
Brown says the trio got along “splendidly,” but as they’ve aged, they’ve grown apart and are being prepared for release.
“Cupcake and Anzac are both doing well. Cupcake, being an adult wallaby, keeps to herself. She’s also now ready for release,” Brown said. “Anzac is now the equivalent of a teenager, but he is probably another year away from release. He enjoys sparring with his peers at the shelter.”
Australia’s marsupials are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting, and many are also struck and killed by cars.
There are only a few animal shelters in the Australian state of Victoria that have facilities to care for injured adult marsupials, according to the Wild About Wildlife website.
"As a direct result, most injured adult marsupials have to be euthanized, even if the injuries are of a relatively minor nature, due to the lack of alternatives. As urban spread of Melbourne continues steadily northwards, the need for this facility has never been greater," the website reads.
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