Safe haven for region's joeys in small town of 28
THE town of Mungallala doesn't have much, and most passers-by wouldn't think to stop into the internet cafe that serves the 28-strong population. But on second look, there's a lot more than meets the eye.
In the backyard, seeking refuge from overhead eagles or following around their "mum,” you will find a number of injured or orphaned joeys, which Dr Heather Gray cares for and raises as her own before they are ready to re-enter their natural habitat.
"When you have a kid, you want them to know where they come from, so we brought her back out to Mungallala, and we've been here ever since,” she said.
"I've always been involved in helping joeys, my sister has been looking after wallabies and kangaroos for years, and it was something my mum did when she was younger. You could say we've always had bush in our blood.”
Despite the title, Dr Gray is not a vet, instead an academic "geek” in the field of Information Technology by trade, but told Star she couldn't imagine doing anything else now.
"Most people don't think to stop in here, but I make a pretty good cup of coffee, and it's not every day you have the opportunity to see these animals like this,” she said.
Among the animals they care for are "a mid-sized swampie, a black-striped mid-sized animal, two baby black-stripes, a young eastern grey, and two Euros, from the wallaroo family”.
Dr Gray said a lot of the sick or injured animals come to be in her care when people find them out by the highway, or on properties.