Farewell to the Wilsons Promontory and its Kangaroos

The Wilsons Promontory National Park distinguishes itself for its numerous scenic landscapes that differ so much from one another. It always made the drive back from the field beautiful. There is a certain point at which many visitors would slow down or even park their vehicle to take pictures. This meant we always had to be vigilant for tourists standing near the road when hitting that point. Even after seeing this view more than 100 times, it was still just as impressive as the first time I saw it!

Once the field station was completely closed, I said farewell to my field assistant who was going to stay for a couple days before pursuing her trip across the country. Unfortunately, her trip was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I took a drive through the National Park for the last time, giving a glance at as many landmarks as possible while driving safely. I had eight hours to spend on the road before making it to Canberra. I remember trusting my GPS, hoping it would bring me to my friend’s place without any mistakes. On the drive down, I saw a massive (can’t stress it enough!) deer species. It had huge ears and was much bigger than any ungulate species I had seen before. I later found out it was a Sambar deer, a species commonly found in Asia that was introduced several years back, like most of the other non-marsupial mammal species found in Australia.

After the sunset, I saw many kangaroos along the road as well. I then realized the kangaroos I had spent the last 3 months with were totally different from the ones I saw along the road. Were they feeding on different vegetation? It sometimes felt like the Wilsons Prom kangaroos were a little bit closer to humans than other kangaroo species.