Wrestling Wallabies in Paddock Punch-up

A nightly occurrence, my neighbour’s paddock is invaded by Bennetts Wallabies and smaller Padymelons around dusk. I’ve counted over 80 of them at times. These images were taken out of my kitchen window in the fading light, showing two male Bennetts trading blows. They fought for about 30 minutes.

When we moved in about 25 years ago, the grass in the paddock was up to our waist. In the first 10 years, my old mate Buddy “the Wonder-dog” only ever flushed one wallaby out of the bush in the next valley over. One, the only wallaby I ever saw!

In the last ten years the population has exploded. Now everywhere looks like a golf green .. when it’s green. They also eat any ferns they can reach down in the creekbeds and any low level new growth doesn’t stand a chance – unless it’s a weed like fox-glove.

The only thing I can put this resurgence down to is the strict Australian gun-laws introduced in the late ’90 and the subsequent reduction in firearm ownership and casual hunting. (I’m not saying that’s a bad thing). Young one’s may get killed by Wedge-tailed eagles, feral cats and perhaps quolls but aside from humans, cars – and the odd loose dog, wallabies now have no natural predators in Tasmania.

Before European’s intervened, wallabies were hunted by the indigenous people for food and possibly Tasmanian Tigers (Thylacine), though it’s thought they were more scavenger than hunter. While farmers can still “control” wallaby with registered firearms, that doesn’t happen in the bush and edge suburbs around Hobart where I live. I guess the wallaby population will eventually be contained by the amount of available food and starvation, unless we intervene to control them again. There appears to me to be a real imbalance in the ecosystem at present.

15 thoughts on “Wrestling Wallabies in Paddock Punch-up

  1. I suppose you get a little free entertainment watching the animals fight.

    It sounds like the same anti-gun lobby took your guns as they did in the UK, just a guess. Americans love their guns, Nevada has an open-carry policy. No need to conceal the registered gun.

    I saw a guy walking the street the other day with a pistol in a holster, no surprise to m. I used to have a concealed carry license a few years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a former rifle owner and hunter, I do not understand America’s obsession with weapons and the gun culture. Guns aren’t completely banned here but they are heavily regulated, restricted and registered, the process to own one is now quite involved so unless you have a legitimate reason to own one the effort involved for most people just isn’t worth it. I own a compound bow to scratch my finger with occasionally, though I only shoot into targets.
      In 1996, a massacre of 35 men, women and children by a single gunman happened at Port Arthur in Tasmania, consequently gun control was introduced by the then Australian Liberal (right wing) government. I’m happy to walk around today in Australia today knowing it is unlikely some nutter who’s gone off the rails can shoot me just for kicks or to make a point and I’m happy not to have to defend myself against such a nutter with a gun. I would happily hand over my rifles again today.
      I guess the big one for me is the large calibre fully automatic weapons that are available in America which really have no legitimate purpose other than to kill humans – such weapons were used at Port Arthur.
      From my understanding, the 2nd Amendment was created in 1791 so that citizens could overthrow their government if required. It was a time when guns were slow to muzzle load, not fully automatic. Well, some governments have had nuclear weapons now for some time … where does it stop? Nukes for everyone?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks for the feedback, really appreciate it 🙂 I try to mix things up, keep an open mind, learn new stuff. It keeps life interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I grew up on the Northwest coast and my dad and brothers used to shoot the wallabies to try and control them and then we ate them – I did not like wallaby meat, but the rest of the family loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Similar story in my family but we would shoot around Oatlands, I think it was just the way things were done back then when people were more frugal and in touch with the land. I liked wallaby meat but not so much rabbit. Any chance you know Phil O’Neil up Wynyard way? I met him through photography, lovely funny fellow.

      Like

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