Fishermen come to rescue of wallaby at sea in Portland, Victoria

Georgie MooreHerald Sun
The fishermen and the rescued wallaby.
Camera IconThe fishermen and the rescued wallaby. Credit: Herald Sun

Fishermen and a park ranger have saved a wallaby spotted drowning off the coast of southwest Victoria.

The black or swamp wallaby is thought to have been in the water at Portland for about an hour yesterday and appeared to be drowning, Parks Victoria ranger Peter Hill told the Herald Sun.

By the time he rushed to the scene, two fishermen had pulled the struggling animal on to their boat and brought it to shore.

"When it got off the boat, it was obviously very cold, it was completely exhausted, it couldn’t stand up," Mr Hill said.

"(It was) very stressed but way too tired to do anything.

"It had really laboured breathing and we could hear it had swallowed a lot of water."

The ranger wrapped the wallaby in blankets and put it in his ute to head to a wildlife shelter.

"As I drove out of Portland it started moving around and trying to get out," he said.

"I was driving on the highway with one hand on the wheel and the other hand on the wallaby’s head."

Mr Hill pulled into a bushland reserve and when he opened the door, the animal fell out.

"I picked him up by the tail and held him upside down ... and I rubbed his chest quite vigorously.

"He coughed and a whole lot of water came out and he immediately took a big breath."

Mr Hill stayed with the wallaby for about 30 minutes while it recovered until it took off into the bush.

It’s not the first time the ranger’s pulled a wallaby out of water, including at the local pool.

He suspects yesterday’s wallaby was on the harbour rock walls before being frightened, possibly by a passing car, and leaping off the edge.

"The fishermen who pulled him out of the water, all credit to them," Mr Hill said.

"They did the hard yards. My job was really easy."

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