The sanctuary can return to an earlier time, thanks to an electrified, predator-proof fence. In 2004, the Australian Capital Territory established the sanctuary, removed the invasive predators and herbivores, and enclosed the land within the predator-proof fence. Native plant and animal species were reintroduced to create a living ecosystem, not a zoo.
Other large, fenced animal sanctuaries exist in Australia, but they tend to be in remote areas. Mulligans Flat is unique because it’s so close to Canberra’s urban environment. The nearly 1200 acres of sanctuary have become an ecotourism destination where visitors can see rare Australian animals.
Some of the animals reintroduced to the sanctuary have not lived in mainland Australia for more than 100 years, including the eastern bettong, the bush stone-curlew, and the eastern quoll.
I wasn’t lucky enough to see any of the rare nocturnal animals the day I visited, but I did spot two echidnas (my first sighting of echidnas in the wild), the omnipresent eastern grey kangaroo, and numerous wallabies.