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Fairy Wren

Fairy Wren
Greg Barton

“Hand-raising a Fairy Wren with hardly any feathers, to releasing him in the wild … and then he would visit us in our pergola or sit outside on the windowsill of the room I was in. That was very special.” – Kathy Moran

First-time encounter

First-time encounter
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“I will never forget the first time I saw a ‘wild’ animal actually in the wild and not in a zoo. Our dog was barking, so I went outside to see what all the fuss was about – and there, curled up near the clothesline, was an echidna. I was absolutely amazed. I had only ever seen them in the wildlife centres, in books and on TV. I thought it was probably out of its area, so I rang our local zoo and told them I had an echidna in the backyard. He thought it was quite amusing, but said just leave it be and it will make its way back home by itself. So I brought the dog in, then went out to check an hour or so later and it was gone. My experience with the local wildlife was over but what a great experience it was.” – Janet Smith

Snake in the grass

Snake in the grass
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“I once picked up a bundle of grass clippings and put it into a wheelbarrow, took it to another location and picked it up again in a bundle out of the wheelbarrow and placed it on the garden as mulch. As I was putting it on the garden, a large red-belly black snake dropped out of the bundle of grass and slithered away. I hope he liked the new location!” – Dianne Cliffe

A bird in the hand

A bird in the hand
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“One day, as I was walking past a very tall building with a lot of windows, I heard heaps of crazy whistling and screeching. When I looked up I discovered a bunch of rainbow lorikeets flying crazily above my head. Unfortunately, several of them weren’t looking where they were going and, instead of concentrating on their flight paths, they hit the windows with a big loud SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!

“They fell down next to where I was standing. Two of them shook off the shock and got up and flew off, but the third one was laying there looking for all the world as if it were dead, so I picked it up. I was determined to give it a proper burial.

“Moments after I picked it up, it shook once and bit my hand as hard as it could! Then it started to flap its wings as if it was going to take off … which would have worked if it had actually let go of my hand, instead of trying to fly off while still holding on to me! It was a split second before it realised this and then off it took, back into the sky and off with its buddies.” – Rachel Bishop

Hyena versus Leopard

Hyena versus Leopard
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“I was in the Masai Mara game reserve on the border of Kenya and Tanzania, with views to Mt Kilimanjaro, when our group went on a dusk safari. We saw a Hyena loitering under a tree, and lo and behold on top of the tree was a Leopard, trapped and avoiding being that night’s dinner. It was a stand-off that lasted way into the night.” – Robert Nicolle

Wedgetail eagle dive

Wedgetail eagle dive
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“I was driving a 4WD track between tightly packed trees on one side and an embankment on the other. As I reached a crest a wedgetail eagle was coming the other way at about 120cm high. As he neared me he flared his wings and made two huge flaps to get more height and went over my windscreen, missing me by about 10cm.” – Robert Warren

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Precious birdlife

Precious birdlife
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“Hoppy the one-legged magpie called our garden home for 11 years, trusted us with her life, and found shelter when she was weak. She taught our family to treasure and protect the environment and our wildlife.” – Judy Caine

Meeting Raja the Elephant

Meeting Raja the Elephant
Courtesy Australia Zoo

“I was lucky enough to meet the beautiful elephant Raja, the very same elephant that Steve Irwin always rode whenever he visited the Elephant Safari Park in Bali. I felt privileged and chuffed, because Steve was an Aussie Hero of mine.” – Micki Zito

Not so happy cat

Not so happy cat
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“I got to witness an eagle-owl swooping down on his prey… unfortunately his prey was my white cat, Happy! Luckily for Happy, Sebastian the Pomeranian was quick to defend her. Thankfully, no fur or feathered creatures were injured.” – Leanne Westerling

For more amazing reader stories, check out our ranking of the world’s best dog breeds. And sign up here to get Reader’s Digest’s favourite stories straight to your inbox!

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Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, we hope to have the April print issue available by the middle of July, and the May, June and July issues available by the end of July, but this is dependent on when local lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team