When you have an unexpected (animal) visitor!

I’m used to seeing all sorts of native animals around the tree house where I live. In my front garden I have seen echidnas; blue tongue lizards and bigger lizards; possums; lots of birds and the occasional snake. I absolutely love the native animals although I do take issue with the possums at times. They have no business being so darned cute when they eat my herbs and cause a big disturbance in the night playing chasing games over my roof.

A few months ago I was astounded to see a very unfamiliar sight in my garden. There was strange creature happily munching away at some grass. I thought that I must be imagining things but no, there it was a rather large, cuddly black rabbit.

I have a special friend who lives on a farm in Victoria and when I visit I am used to seeing myriads of grey bunnies scampering across the driveway when we drive up at night. They are a real pest down there so I can understand why the farmers of Queensland have been successful in banning bunnies in Queensland. Anyone caught harbouring a bunny is in for a hefty fine. So it was with some concern that I wondered how an illegal immigrant had found its way to my home.

I asked my neighbour if she had seen it and she said it had been around for about a week. She had approached different agencies and after much ringing around, discovered the Tweed Heads Rabbit Rescue Centre. The job of this centre was to look after homeless bunnies until a home can be found. At the time of the phone call they were full and asked that we keep an eye on it until there was a vacancy. The whole situation was quite ironic as we live fairly close to the border and we are not sure whether our illegal bunny had been dumped or had escaped across the border. It had obviously been a pet and was fairly tame. The neighbourhood children began feeding it carrots and called it George – of course it may well have been a Georgette.

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George became a fixture around our gardens for a few months as we awaited a vacancy. It became a daily occurrence to see him hopping around our gardens and he seemed to enjoy a chat. We were relieved when the awaited phone call arrived to say that there was at last a vacancy at the Rabbit Rescue Centre. My neighbour was quite confident that she could catch George but he had other ideas. He resisted arrest and appeared to be hell bent on remaining an illegal immigrant.

In a previous blog I have mention Pamela, the Piebald python who occasionally visits. I have been so grateful that my sons taught me long ago the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes. I have learned to really admire the beauty of a python. I feel they are much maligned and misunderstood. When the opportunity arises I even love the feel of them moving through my hands. They are very peaceful creatures and are welcome around my home but the next part of my story has sinister undertones! A week ago I noticed Pamela sliding along my roof and slotting herself into the spouting just outside my bedroom window. That would have been fine usually but I noticed a distinct difference in the way she was moving. She is quite a slender snake probably about a metre long and she usually glides around, but this day she seemed to be having difficulty and I soon noticed the reason why. Her belly was swollen to the most amazingly huge proportions for such a slim snake. I thought maybe she had swallowed a possum.

Well Pamela has remained in the same spot now for a week, occasionally moving around – but only a little! Her huge bulge still has a long way to go before she can retain her slim figure and she seems content to lie there, only occasionally raising her head as if to say hello. I think I will have her as a companion for a few weeks. Maybe I should warn my Melbourne visitor before his arrival on Thursday!

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Mysteriously George has disappeared and the neighbourhood children are not very kindly disposed toward Pamela. As I have said before – it is a dog eat dog world out there – or maybe a snake eat rabbit world!

 

What animals do you see around your home? Do you have native animals visit or just other neighbours’ pets? Tell us below!