One of the biggest reasons why we believe this relocation is going so well and causes very little stress on the animal, is because of this piece of equipment. It’s called a Thomas Trap. By definition it’s: “a collapsible soft catch trap used by Animal conservationist’s for monitoring, and relocation, without causing harm to the subject”.

It’s got a self-closing mechanism so that when the wallaby steps on the treadle (metal plate towards the back of the trap), the door shuts. This isn’t stressful for the animal as it doesn’t cause a loud commotion. Plus, the wallaby is happy enough to sit there eating the yummy sweet potato which lured it in. Once the traps are set, they’re monitored and checked on a regular basis. It doesn’t take long for a wallaby to sniff out the sweet potato… so the traps are working exactly as they should! With the help of some of our volunteers who perform regular maintenance on them. As you can see in the second photo, the wallabies have grown so fond of the traps, they even like to sit in them when there’s no potato! It shows how comfortable they feel.

It’s very well known that Macropods are prone to stress (myopathy). That’s why one of our number 1 priorities is to limit and reduce any stress throughout the entire capture/handling/release process. The Thomas Trap capture method makes this possible. So please note* there is no “herding” or “darting” involved in this relocation. Having experienced Macropod Rescuers and Carers also makes all the difference as they know how to handle these animals in the best way possible. Their wellbeing, alongside our own, is of the upmost importance.

From the Thomas Traps, they’re then placed in the shadecloth bag (please see yesterday’s post for more information on them).

As far as we know, Thomas Traps hadn’t been used on a Macropod as big as an Agile Wallaby. But we can confidently say, they work! Even for boys as big as 32kg! Yes, that’s right…32kgs!