Latest News

2017 Bonorong Quiz Night!


The rumours are true! 2017 will see the return of the Bonorong Quiz Night as our major fundraiser - and we can't wait to see you there. We'll be raising funds for the Sanctuary, Wildlife Rescue Service and the Wildlife Hospital.

Enjoy our quiz, a silent auction, lucky door prizes and more...

Saturday 10 June 6pm for a 6.30pm start

- $20 single tickets

- $160 table of 8

- BYO supper/snacks for your table

- Drinks available for purchase

Book your tickets online today!

(This year we are not accepting payment at the door, however if you are unable to book online please email us so we can assist!)

The Bonorong Food Hut is Open!

Food Hut 1.jpg

It has been a long time in the making, but we are EXTREMELY excited to announce that a project we have been working on behind the scenes has finally come to fruition! Ladies and gentleman the "Bonorong Food Hut" is now officially open!

Open daily for lunch, our Food Hut team are serving delicious environmentally friendly, vegetarian friendly and vegan friendly food.

The hut's opening hours are still a work in progress, but we will be open from at least 12pm-2pm daily (hours will change coming in to our peak season, so contact us to enquire if needed!).

Take home meals are available too, so you don't even have to enter the Sanctuary to enjoy a delicious snack! Simply head to the side window facing the car park and one of the Food Hut team will greet you there.

Another option could be if you are heading past Brighton (say on your way from Hobart to Launceston) you could easily drop in to grab a meal from us on your way through.

Our "hot meal" menu options will change weekly (so there is always something new to try!) and there will be our regular favourite dishes daily as well as some sweet treats too.

We hope you will support the Bonorong Food Hut on your next visit to the Sanctuary, see you soon!

Farewell Fidget


We write to you today with heavy hearts.

"Fidget" our beloved resident brushtail possum has passed away.

He hadn't been acting himself the past couple of weeks and our vet discovered an abdominal mass that we suspect to be cancer.

He had surgery on Saturday, but sadly didn't pull through.

The staff at Bonorong are understandably devastated by the loss.

If you knew Fidget please give him a loving thought today and feel free to share a photo in his memory on our Facebook page.

Exciting Partnership Announcement


Bonorong is very pleased to announce an exciting partnership with TasNetworks.

The company approached Bonorong with the prospect of helping injured raptors and it was decided that a focus was needed in developing specialised rehabilitation options at the Sanctuary.

Tas Networks have funded the building of three raptor holding facilities suitable for temporary care of all raptor species, whilst awaiting veterinary care or recovery. They are also funding two veterinarians to head interstate and undertake training in very specific areas of raptor rehabilitation, which will mean they can bring the knowledge they learn back to Tasmania and provide expert care for raptors.

Tas Networks also announced yesterday funding for research that will use GPS systems to monitor eagles and help build knowledge on how to prevent issues with raptors and power infrastructure in the future.

It is fantastic to see Tas Networks tackling raptor issues on so many fronts and their enthusiasm to assisting birds that need rehabilitation in general.

Next time you are at Bonorong take a look at our top carpark to see some of the mitigation measures in action that they have developed to help prevent incidents with power infrastructure.

Thanks for the opportunity to work with you Tas Networks!

Penguin Awareness Day

Today is Penguin Awareness Day! It is pretty rare to find someone who doesn't love a penguin... they are rather adorable after all!

A few things to think about that may help out our penguin friends:

  • When on land penguins are at high risk of predation by dogs, so please make sure you read signage whenever walking your pooch on or near the beach and avoid areas where penguins nest.
  • At sea, penguins are vulnerable to hazards such as discarded plastics and fishing line. It is so important to dispose of rubbish responsibly to ensure we are keeping our oceans safe and clean for the animals that call it home.
  • Boat strikes and oil pollution are another big problem for penguins. We like to tell the boat lovers out there to make sure you "go slow for those below" when you are in known penguin waters.
  • And lastly habitat destruction is another big one that can cause issues for our penguins. People can easily trample important nest sites which are crucial for their breeding success, so again if you are in a known penguin area then please don't wander off tracks and risk damaging their homes.

Bonorong has a specially designed Seabird Rehabilitation Facility on site with a large saltwater pool for penguins. The photo below is of a Fiordland Penguin who was in care with us last year. Photo by Liz Pulo.


Bonorong helps Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations go a bit wild


We are a little bit excited about this!

What a way to share our precious wildlife with the world.


"IMAGES of a Tasmanian joey trying to get into his mother’s pouch are set to become a centrepiece of Sydney’s multi-million dollar New Year’s Eve celebrations.

A selection of Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary animals will be among the star attractions of the event that is expected to reach a global audience of more than one billion spectators through international broadcasts and online views.

Filmed by award-winning Tasmanian cameraman Pete Harmsen, the three, five-minute videos of the joey and its mum, plus an albino possum, a Tasmanian devil, an echidna, a koala and a blue tongue lizard will be part of the audio visual display beamed onto the 89m high pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge."

Read more at The Mercury

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas everyone!

We hope you have all had a wonderful day!

Greg (our Director) and Petra (our Sanctuary Manager) visited the Royal Hobart Hospital today with special guests "Muffin" and "Judy" (the orphaned wombats) to brighten up the day for any patients that couldn't make it home for Christmas.

This is Greg's 13th year of visiting the hospital and it has become a Christmas tradition that everyone at the hospital gets rather excited about! A huge shout out to the incredible hospital staff for their dedication and commitment to the patients and for the love and care they show

Enjoy the rest of your special day folks and stay safe for the remainder of the festive season! 

The Toren Vergis Wombat Enclosure


This week we held a special memorial evening which included the official naming of one of our enclosures at the Sanctuary.

Toren Vergis was the head keeper at Bonorong for many years and a true wildlife conservationist. He had an amazing love for all native animals, but was particularly fond of wombats. A lot of people will not realise the many hours that were spent by Toren and our current owner Greg in their early years at Bonorong when they were the only two full-time staff. They were constantly thinking up ideas of what Bonorong may do in the future and Toren also had dreams of a wildlife rescue service, education programs and a dedicated wildlife hospital.

We wish Toren could be with us today to watch all of these programs grow and achieve everything he was so passionate about. It was fantastic to have some of Toren's family fly down to join us for the unveiling of the sign at Bonorong, and also amazing to see in attendance some of the staff that worked with Toren over 10 years ago.

His love of wildlife lives on through his wife Adele and daughter Zoe (pictured) who also joined us for this occasion. Zoe was even sporting one of Toren's Bonorong badges that he wore so proudly on his uniform.

We are proud to see Toren's name and memory permanently remembered through the naming of our wombat enclosure. Toren's sign can now be read by everyone that visits the Sanctuary.

Cheers to you Toz - a true wildlife champion, mentor, teacher and friend.

Photo thanks to Barrie Irons.

Meet 'Balto' - a Tawny Frogmouth chick!

We would like to share with you a collection of beautiful photos of a very special fella we currently have in care. Please meet "Balto" the Tawny Frogmouth chick!

Senior keeper Monique has been doing an exceptional job hand raising little Balto with 24 hour around the clock care since he was just a tiny 19gram chick!

Balto will be released back to the wild when he is old enough and ready to go.

Photos thanks to Liz Pulo, Ebony McIntosh & Monique ten Bohmer.

Congrats Greg - Tourism Minister's Young Achiever!


What a fantastic evening was had by all last night at the 2016 Tasmanian Tourism Awards held at Wrest Point Hobart!

Although Bonorong did not win the Tourism Attraction award that we were a finalist in (well done to our friends at Pennicott Wilderness Journeys for this one!), we were overjoyed that our director Greg Irons was awarded the Tourism Minister's Young Achiever Award!

Greg was left speechless (trust us, this is a very rare thing!) and we have a message from him this morning to share with you all:

"I would like to thank all of the Bonorong family. The rescuers, the supporters and of course most importantly the staff. Any award we win belongs to every one of you, as a few good ideas on paper are nothing without all of you behind it.

To the Bonorong staff, you are truly the cogs of so many incredible things that we are achieving for wildlife and conservation and you are all such an amazing bunch of people. Though we did not win our category you all know how hard you work to achieve the most incredible things on a daily basis and can relax everyday knowing that you save, educate and provide relief to so many animals in need that simply never have the voice and support they thoroughly deserve.

To my family, you have always been there with your unconditional support and believing in every single thing that we put our minds to and encouraging us so whole heartedly. Particularly my parents, who many will not even begin to know how integral they have been to everything we achieve, starting simply with the belief we could do it and getting behind us.

But my most important message today is if we look at many of the award winners last night they all rely so heavily on Tasmania being the beautiful clean and green place that it is. Tourism is surging forward while so many unsustainable industries flop. I desperately hope it is yet another obvious reminder that we need to protect our natural places and wildlife. It is what our award was given for, so let's hope to see the demise of seemingly endless and often extremely short sighted decisions being made in Tasmania. Stand up for this place and stand up for what is right. Make sure you are all a voice and a loud one at that. Thanks all - Greg Irons."

Come and Discover Tasmania :)

September is Save the Koala month!


Did you know that September has been 'Save The Koala Month'?

And since today is the last day of September we thought we should do a shout out to our koala friends!

Koalas are not native to Tasmania, but they still need our help and protection.

Listed as a vulnerable species, habitat loss is the greatest threat to this furry icon. Approximately 80% of Australia's eucalyptus forests (which is what koalas call home) has been cleared, and of the remaining 20% almost none is protected & mainly occurs on privately-owned land.

There is currently no legislation, anywhere in the country, that can protect koalas and koala habitat in Australia.

Our friends at the Australian Koala Foundation are doing everything they can to help save this species. They can't do it alone though, so have a look at their website and see how you can help - https://www.savethekoala.com/

Photo thanks to Liz Pulo.

Eastern Quolls Move to the Red List

Yesterday we learnt that the Eastern Quoll has finally been moved from 'Near Threatened' to 'Endangered' on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This has been long overdue and the decision was made because their population is continually declining, by an estimated 50% over the past 10 years in fact. Eastern quolls can only be found in Tasmania as they became extinct on mainland Australia in the mid-1960s.

Our Sanctuary is a part of a Tasmanian breeding program along with Devils at Cradle, Trowunna Wildlife Park & East Coast Natureworld who are all working together to help secure Eastern Quoll numbers. We have also partnered with mainland conservation institutions such as the Mt Rothwell - Biodiversity Interpretation Centre to help ensure the future of this beloved carnivorous marsupial.

This breeding season we are very proud to have produced eleven quoll offspring to assist with the breeding program. Have a look at the gorgeous photo below of one of the babies getting their health checks yesterday. 


Photo thanks to Bernadette Camus

Our wildlife hospital is here!!

***EXCITING NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT!!!*** Drumroll please! We are absolutely thrilled to let you all know that today was a very special day for everyone at Bonorong….BECAUSE OUR WILDLIFE HOSPITAL ARRIVED!!!…Well the building part anyway!!

We know we still have a long way to go, but even just getting the building here has been 5 years in the making, and as many of you would know, those 5 years have been met with many hurdles, road blocks, grey hair & of course blood, sweat and tears!

We couldn’t have got to this point without all the amazing people that have rallied behind this project. And to the hundreds of people that have given donations, whether it has been two dollars or two thousand dollars, every little bit has helped – so thank you!! :)

We have many many more thank yous (of course!), but we would like to make special mention to our incredible large donors that have raised $15,000+ to the project. These amazing organisations and people are: International Fund for Animal Welfare - IFAW, Linda’s “Helping Hands” Fundraising Group, Peter Hill, and DIER– what an amazing effort from you all! Words just aren’t enough.

We would also like to specially thank GB McGregor Portables for their incredible patience holding the building for us in their warehouse, while we tackled many of those above-mentioned “hurdles” – you guys are fabulous!

So the next chapter of the journey now begins as we start the hospital fit out, building of the deck, sourcing relevant materials and final pieces of hospital equipment…but at least we are edging closer to being open and operational (pardon the pun!)

Once we are getting closer to having the second chapter complete (eg getting close to opening!) we will be organising an official opening of the hospital where you will all be able to come and help celebrate with us and have a sticky beak inside! So watch this space for more news on that! :)

So hooray to getting one step closer to providing the first solely dedicated wildlife hospital in Tasmania…doesn’t our precious wildlife deserve it?! YAY!

Enjoy the photos below taken today thanks to Eric Woehler, Barrie Irons, Bernadette Camus & Liz Pulo.

Farewell, Tina!


Our beloved Tina wombat, putting her best paw forward!

Last week the Bonorong team farewelled this gorgeous girl as she went off to her release site. Reports are that she's doing very well!

Although saying goodbye is always hard, it is also incredibly rewarding to see animals we have helped save be returned to the wild.

Photo thanks to Bernadette Camus.

Randall’s in torpor! But what does that mean?


If you’ve visited the Sanctuary lately you may have noticed a few animals are ‘missing in action’... Randall the Echidna, our snakes and our blue tongue lizards have noticed the colder weather and gone into torpor.

What is torpor? Torpor is probably more well known as ‘hibernation’ - but hibernation is only used if the animal goes into torpor in winter. If it was summertime, it’d be known as ‘aestivation’. It helps animals survive periods of reduced food availability.

Torpor is simply state when the body temperature, metabolism, respiration and heart rate are lowered...so basically an energy saving mechanism! Torpor enables animals to survive periods of reduced food availability.

Although our lovely residents don’t have to worry about food, it’s completely natural for them to go into torpor when it gets colder.

Where do the animals go? Our snakes enjoy cozying up under their rocks (where the winter sun keeps them nice and warm), our blue tongues move up to the Bush Tucker Shed verandah where they have three snug enclosures, and Randall has a few warm hidey holes in his enclosure that he will snuggle up in.

Randall, now in his 3rd year with Bonorong, might have figured out he doesn’t have to sleep all through winter… occasionally you’ll see him pop out of his den for a little mid-winter snack before tucking back in for another snooze. (Winter is also breeding time for echidnas… so don’t be surprised if you see them out and about!)

What a life!

When will they come out again? There’s no exact date -- they’ll all come out when they feel it’s warm enough -- usually late spring or early summer.

Jasper’s monthly update: June

Wombat 1

Can you believe we’ve had Jasper two months already? Neither can we. This little guy is growing big and strong, right to schedule - sitting at 1250g (doubling his weight since our last post!) and an estimated 6 months old.

He is covered in a layer of fine fur (about 1mm long) over most of his body, and his nose is almost completely brown now, although he’s still got those cute pink feet! His molars are well and truly here and those upper incisors are making themselves known.

He’s moved back to 5 feeds a day, allowing Linda a little bit of rest… and enough time to take on another baby wombat (more on that soon…)

If he was still with his mum at this point, he’d be starting to poke his head out of the pouch to check out what’s going on, but not venturing out further yet.

And if you watch his feet closely, you’ll see him make a “kneading” motion with his little feet when drinking. You might recognise this as an action that kittens often carry into adulthood:


Well, wombats do it too - and for the same reason! As a little one in the pouch, it helps get Mum’s milk production going. Thankfully, wombats don’t carry that habit into adulthood… that would be one scratched up mum/human.

As you can see, he’s developing into a handsome little boy - quickly winning everyone’s heart here at Bonorong!


Stay tuned for more Jasper updates next month.

Shy Albatross - from Poatina to Tasman Peninsula

Shy Albatross photo by Eric Woehler
Shy Albatross photo by Eric Woehler

You may have heard in the news recently that a Shy Albatross was found a long way from home: in Poatina, up north.

Thanks to a dedicated member of the public, the Animal Medical Centre in Launceston and our rescuers, we were able to transfer the albatross (nicknamed “Alby”) at our seabird rehabilitation centre in Brighton and give him the rest and rehabilitation he needed.

A young albatross, Alby would have only been around 6 months old when he encountered his first storm, and we believe that’s how he got so off path.

After a few days to regain his confidence, some good food and plenty of time in our seawater pool, Alby was ready for his release back to the wild with a little help from Pennicott Wilderness Journeys.

Correction - Friday 20 May 2016: 

We incorrectly said that Alby was found roadside in Poatina, however this is not the case. Ongoing gale force winds forced Alby into the Tamar River valley in northern Tasmania. He was found alive but tired on the shore some 40km from the open sea, and was rescued from this location.

Unable to find a vet or wildlife clinic late in the afternoon, Alby accompanied his rescuer home to Poatina, in the Central Highlands of Tasmania, more than 80km inland. The next day he was delivered safely to the Animal Medical Centre in Launceston who passed Alby on to us at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for rehabilitation and release.