Animal Rescuers’ Wild Life-Saving Mission Is Unlike Any Challenge They Had Ever Faced Before

Most of the time, animals can handle themselves just fine without any outside help — after all, they’re called “wildlife” for a reason. In fact, quite often these creatures help us: Saint Bernard dogs rescue people in the snowy mountains and horses help police officers keep peace inside big cities. Still, once in a while, we need to repay the favor.

These two Australians dedicated their lives to doing just that! But when they received a phone call about a dangerous disturbance in an old mineshaft that even firefighters didn’t want to deal with, their dedication to helping troubled animals was put to the ultimate test…

Manfred and Helen Zabinskas are the co-founders of Five Freedoms Animal Rescue in Victoria, Australia, so they have performed plenty of animal-related miracles in their time. A recent rescue, however, might take the cake.

Jane Cowan/ABC News

Five Freedoms is an organization that rescues animals, catches snakes, provides a wildlife shelter, and even deals with animal issues that can arise during construction and land development activities. Manfred is not afraid of anything.

Five Freedoms Animal Rescue

During the first week of November, Five Freedoms received an alarming call. A stranger told Helen Zabinskas that there was something strange going on in an old mineshaft, and asked her and Manfred to come over immediately.

Jane Cowan/ABC News

The situation sounded dangerous, and Helen and Manfred didn’t want each other (or any of their volunteers) to get injured, so they called emergency services. Within no time, six firemen showed up and were ready to assess the situation.

FFAR via The Dodo

The mineshaft was at least 16 feet deep, so as one of the firemen went down the latter to investigate, Manfred kept a close watch. Suddenly, they heard a slight sound coming from the bottom of the shaft. Something was alive and moving!

FFAR via The Dodo

Untrained to deal with creatures in dark, deep holes, the fireman wouldn’t go down any further. Now it was up to Manfred to climb down and work his magic on the unidentified animal, which seemed to be scared and holding on for dear life.

FFAR via The Dodo

After hours of trying to calm the whatever the animal was down, the rescue crew finally brought it up to safety, where they could reveal to onlookers what, exactly, had been trapped down in that darkness!

The onlookers were amazed to see that out of the mineshaft came an adorable little wallaby! But as Helen wrapped it in a blanket, she knew that this furry friend wasn’t in the clear just yet.

FFAR via The Dodo

She quickly checked his teeth, his ears, his paws, and his fur. The good news was he wasn’t severely injured. The bad news was his coat was covered in maggots that were burrowing into his skin. He needed medical care right away.

Helen and Manfred gave the Wallaby some first aid care, but it wasn’t enough. They agreed to pack up the van and take the poor bugger to Hepburn Vet Clinic. The ride over was a tense one — would the wallaby make it through the day?

Google Maps

Once the Five Freedoms team arrived at the clinic, a skilled veterinarian noted the wallaby was in rough shape, but he mostly just needed IV fluids, a few treatments, and a lot of rest. However, he was definitely not fit to be released into the wild at that point.

FFAR via The Dodo

Luckily for this little wallaby, Manfred and Helen were used to taking in a creature or two. In fact, they built their house into a shelter for rescued animals to recuperate — animals like this wallaby!

Jane Cowan/ABC News

Helen and Manfred named the latest addition to the shelter Louie and vowed to take good care of him for as long as he needed it — starting with some cuddles and a nice warm bottle of milk.

FFAR via The Dodo

During his first few days at the shelter, the couple kept a close eye on Louie, making sure he was adjusting well to life in the house and his wounds were starting to heal. Louie didn’t seem to mind all the warmth and affection one bit!

Jane Cowan/ABC News

After a few days, Louie was already over the bottles of milk and began noshing on solid food, including grass, vegetables, leaves, and other foliage. This was a good sign, as it meant he was regaining both his strength and his independence.

Jane Cowan/ABC News

In fact, only two weeks later, Louie became restless, even in the larger enclosure. Despite moving from a baby cot to his own outdoor “room,” he started to quite literally bounce off the walls. It seemed like it was already time to say goodbye to Louie.

Manfred Zabinskas via The Courier

Naturally, Helen and Manfred were sad to see Louie go, but they also knew that being released back into the wild was the best thing for him. Surely, though, he would never forget their helping hand in his time of need.

Manfred Zabinskas via The Courier

Now with Louie being back in his natural habitat, there was once again room for the next wallaby to come along and rest up at the Five Freedoms rescue. For Helen and Manfred, it was just another day of making an animal happy; tomorrow, they’re on to the next one.

Jane Cowan/ABC News

Recommended From Honest To Paws

Stay up to date on the
latest trending stories!

like our facebook page!