CUTE: Andrew Waldron (left) and Scott Akins-Sellar won the two categories of the Strade Rosso Cycling Challenge, but the real winner was agile wallaby Rascal, held by Maranoa Wildlife Caring and Education Centre’s Angela Bendall.
CUTE: Andrew Waldron (left) and Scott Akins-Sellar won the two categories of the Strade Rosso Cycling Challenge, but the real winner was agile wallaby Rascal, held by Maranoa Wildlife Caring and Education Centre’s Angela Bendall. Tom Gillespie

Baby animals the real winners of Roma Strade Rosso

ANDREW Waldron and Scott Akins-Sellar might have won the two events in the Strade Rosso Cycling Challenge, but the real winner was the baby wallaby in Angela Bendall’s arms.

Rascal the agile wallaby is one of several abandoned native animals who have a brighter futures thanks to the efforts of the Maranoa Wildlife Caring and Education Centre, which raised some serious cash with its cycling event.

Ms Bendall, who is the group’s wildlife co-ordinator, said the very new centre focused on saving, rehabilitating and re-homing native animals that were sick, injured or orphaned.

She said the response from participants and the wider community had been positive for their first ever fundraising event.

“A lot of hard work went into this, but it was a really good response,” she said.

“We only started in May last year so this is a great achievement.”

Rascal’s sad story of abandonment is not uncommon across Australia.

“His mum was hit by a car and a truckie picked him up and brought him in,” Ms Bendall said.

“I don’t think people realise how unique our wildlife really is.”

50km event winner Mr Waldron said he was surprised to take out the title.

“Honestly, I thought road cycle guys would catch up with me – I didn’t expect to win, but it was a good feeling,” he said.

“I was coming here (to Roma) anyway to see my family so I just thought I’d enter this.”

Mr Akins-Sellar, who is a professional fauna spotter, took out the 80km ride in scorching conditions.

For information on the MWCEC, contact maranoawildlifecec@boobook.biz.


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