The second part of the Banjo story, lifted from the DPIPWE intranet archives…
Nearly a month after her ordeal at the claws of a pet cat, Banjo the bandicoot is becoming quite a handful for her rehabilitator Mandy Smith from the Invasive Species Branch. Banjo now has a full coat of fur and is getting stronger by the day. She is very alert – her eyes are now wide open and her ears twitch at every sound – and she has recently discovered the joys of digging in dirt and leaf litter. She even sits on her hind legs like a meerkat surveying its territory.
Being a first time carer, Mandy had no knowledge of what baby bandicoots needed and quickly adopted a mothers approach in caring for Banjo. Meal times involved a four-hourly routine of feeding Banjo, wiping her face and then ‘burping’ her, which is rubbing her stomach to encourage toileting. Another trick Mandy has learnt is to rock Banjo to sleep in a beanie on her lap – which makes for a very sleepy and content bandicoot!
Weighing in at only 73 grams when first rescued, Banjo is now a healthy 145 grams. She was averaging 40 ml of milk a day at first but this has now climbed up to around 90 ml. Once she hits 250 grams, Banjo will be leaving her beanie and giving up the banana egg flips for mealworms, slaters, earthworms and other delicious insects. Lucky Banjo!
And in case you didn’t work it out already, Banjo has turned out to be a girl! So maybe she should be called Banjette?